Montrose Area wins Scholarship Challenge
Montrose Area High School came out on top after defeating Wellsboro Saturday at the 28th annual Scholarship Challenge finals hosted at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. For the participants three months of dedication and involvement in the competition, Montrose received a $3,000 check for their school and the coveted Kwasnoski Cup.
Challenge Organizer Chuck Carver, of WATS/WAVR radio noted during the event that this makes Montrose one of only four schools which have won twice at the challenge.
None of the schools at the final event went home empty-handed. Wellsboro High School received $1,500 for a runner-up performance, and Elmira Free Academy and Mountain View High School both received $500 for semi-final appearances.
The two-hour long event which began at noon was not short on entertainment or tense moments for students from the four schools.
Mountain View fell short to Montrose in the semi-final round in a very tense game. Going into the final 10 questions, Mountain View trailed Montrose 80 points, 100-20, but was almost able to make up the difference with a final 120-110 Montrose victory.
Wellsboro Senior Garrett Carr spoke of his team's chances against Montrose in the upcoming final round after defeating Elmira Free Academy 160-90 in the semi-finals.
"A lot of this comes down to what types of questions are asked. I have a great team behind me and I think we have a shot, but if we get questions that aren't geared to our knowledge base, we won't win," Carr said.
Carr noted that his area of expertise was in history and political science, a subject which was only lightly touched by the questions in the final round.
"This isn't like a physical sport, where your skill is evident in every match. If they don't ask questions you know, you don't have a chance," he said.
During the final round, Carr scored the most points for his team, but they still fell short by only 30 points, for a 160-130 Montrose victory.
The first 10 of 30 questions brought a very tight race, with Montrose only leading 50-40. But, Montrose maintained the lead for the entire duration of the final round despite a late game rally by Wellsboro.
Wellsboro, led by Carr, rallied back from a 140-50 score with only five questions remaining before the 30 question limit was reached and the quiz ended.
After the challenge ended, New York Assemblyman Chris Friend presented $500 checks to both Elmira Free Academy and Mountain View High School.
Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw presented Wellsboro with a check for $1,500 in funds for the school. Yaw, who frequently attends the Scholarship Challenge noted that he was very pleased a Pennsylvania team was able to bring home the Kwasnoski Cup, especially because the school resided in his senatorial district.
Jeff Carr, first retail officer at First Citizens Bank presented a massive $3,000 winners check to the Montrose Area team. First Citizens Bank co-sponsored the event along with WATS/WAVR radio station.
The Montrose team, all four sharply dressed in bow ties, was comprised of team captain David Koloski, Adam Wurth, Courtney Kimmell, and Alexandra Woodward.
After winning, Koloski said he wanted to thank everyone who makes the challenge possible each year and all of his team mates for their hard work and dedication.
He mentioned the hard work each of his team put in, including practice during school lunches and after school, and even during the drive to the challenge itself.
The team adviser, David's father John Koloski, said that now the team has an opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for a chance at the national challenge. He said the team's participation sways on the decision of the school board, but made very clear he and his team were ready to make the trip and compete.
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or email: email@example.com.