Scholarship Challenge kicks off 33rd year
Teams from Troy and Wellsboro high schools defeated four other teams Saturday to square off in the 33rd annual Scholarship Challenge quiz competition's first qualifying round.
And while the Trojans, led by coach Jenn Sporer and captain Kenny Bohner, put up a hard fight, the team from Wellsboro Area High School won Saturday's final match, 130 points to Troy's 80.
The Wellsboro team, which won the Kwasnoski Cup, in 2010, will compete for the competition's top honor and $3,000 in prize money for their school at the March 9 finals.
Scholarship Challenge, created and hosted by Chuck Carver of WATS/WAVR Radio and broadcast live each year, pits 24 teams of high school seniors representing eight counties in New York and Pennsylvania against one another. Teams answer questions about art, sports, history, science, math and other subjects.
Six schools competed in Saturday's first qualifying round. The Wellsboro team, coached by Lisa Higham and captained by Garrett Carr, defeated four-time Kwasnoski Cup champions Tioga Central in a high-scoring match, 190 points to 150, and won against North Rome Christian School 110-60 in the second round.
Carr was joined by teammates Kelly Corrigan, Katie Helfrich, Jacob Holtman and alternate Ben Shaw, who took Holtman's place during the second round.
Following Saturday's victory, Wellsboro Area High School principal David Krick told Carver he was happy to make the trip to the competition's new home, the Patterson Auditorium on the Guthrie campus in Sayre, to support the team.
"They're doing a great job," Krick said. "I like them to know they're supported from the top down."
Troy, who defeated Owego Free Academy 100 points to 60 in the first round and Spencer-Van Etten High School 120 points to 90 in the second before falling in the finals, will take home a $350 prize for their school for reaching the final round.
Members of the Troy team include Bohner, Darton Harwick, Jordan Hodlofski, Greg Ellsworth, and alternates William Miller and Erica Barrett.
During Saturday's broadcast, Carver thanked Guthrie for providing the Patterson Auditorium while renovations have temporarily closed the Waverly High School auditorium, the competition's longtime home.
"They've been such wonderful hosts to us in this transition," Carver said of Guthrie.
Scholarship Challenge's second qualifying round, which starts at noon Feb. 9, will include teams from Waverly, Canton, Mansfield, Mountain View, Elk Lake and New Covenant Academy. All rounds are open to the public and are also broadcast live on WATS and WAVR.
The program has awarded over $165,000 to participating schools and earned 24 state and national awards in its run, including being honored twice by the White House.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.