Douglas County High School’s varsity Scholar Bowl team won WSB-TV’s High Q championship last week, defeating Chamblee Charter School 710-471 and becoming the second Scholar Bowl team in Douglas County Schools history to accomplish the feat.

The championship of the Jeopardy-like trivia competition will air on WSB-TV Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Viewers will watch sophomore Ethan Offenbauher and seniors Parth Patel, Christopher Stephens and Josiah Takang vye for the $5,000 check by answering questions correctly about topics ranging from Scandinavian narratives to science and current events.

“It was really exciting to watch,” said DCHS junior Gareth Gibbs, who sat in the audience to support the team during the competition May 6. “It was kind of tense in the beginning because it was close … by about the third round I was getting excited (because) I could see they stood a really good chance of winning, so it was really exciting to watch them win.”

About 25 years ago, Lithia Springs High School won the High Q Championship, said DCHS teacher and Scholar Bowl coach Victoria Burnett. The competition is in its 29th year.

“Every year we’ve gotten a draw, we’ve gone (to compete),” Burnett said. “I think we’ve made it to the top eight twice. … But we’ve never made it past that.”

The team has been practicing twice a week since October, reading books, studying their topics of focus and absorbing as much knowledge as possible.

“I just made sure I knew all the general knowledge stuff like state capitols (and) that sort of thing,” said Stephens, whose focus is literature and music. “I read a lot. For science stuff … they tend to ask the more specific questions, so I do a lot of scientific journal reading and stuff like that and that’s helped me a bit with the more obscure stuff.”

Even though the team indulged in its traditional pre-High Q feast at The Varsity, Takang doesn’t attribute the success to the brain food.

“I think we had good teamwork on the show,” said Takang, whose focus is current events and sports. “(The team’s success) brought a lot of positive attention to this school in the recent few months. It kind of highlights … ‘This school is doing what it’s supposed to do and focusing on education.’ ”

After winning the championship, the team shared Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which is also a tradition after High Q. The four will also share the $5,000 in prize money.

Stephens plans to attend Tulane University to study cellular and molecular biology. Though it’s not a sure thing, Takang said he plans to attend Mercer University to study biomedical engineering. Patel plans to study neuroscience at Vanderbilt University.

When asked if he would participate in Scholar Bowl next year, Offenbauher smiled and said he probably would.

Contact Laura Corley by email at laura@douglascountysentinel.com or by phone at 770-942-6571 ext. 233.

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