Through stops and starts, the Bellbrook High School Academic team is building a legacy.
The team started some years ago but stopped. It was brought back shortly before the pandemic, but again, it was halted.
Not only is the team back this year, but it is making landmark achievements, beating one of its biggest rivals and looking forward to the West Central Regional in mid-April.
“In our league, they are always first,” Zander Pittman said of rival Oakwood. “It’s always one of our goals to beat them.”
The team competes in the Southwestern Buckeye League, just like the district’s athletic teams.
“I like competing against the other local teams,” Ben Roach said. “Coming from a sports background, I like competing.”
If you are over a certain age, you might think the students on this team are a fan of Jeopardy! But the team members said it’s more about games on their phones.
“I think it’s fun to watch that sometimes and see what you know,” Pittman said, “but it’s more on our phones.”
“A lot of people like Trivia Crack or they play random trivia games on their phone,” Roach said.
He added, however, most of the preparation the team does is by paying attention in class.
“The art stuff you really need to study up on, because that’s impossible, but otherwise it’s a lot of classwork,” Pittman said.
They were brought to the team – as many others were, by their love for random trivia and competition. As well as a recommendation by Mr. Rob Schultz, who coaches the JV team. Pamela Schultz runs the varsity.
“I just think random trivia is a lot of fun,” JV team member Alexi Knight said.
For those unaware, the Academic Team at Bellbrook consists of a Varsity and JV team. During competitions, the team consists of four players who can be subbed in and out between rounds, depending on categories. Categories typically consist of what you’d expect: Literature, world history, art, math, science and current events. There are also alphabet categories – the answers will correspond with a single letter, but the questions in the category can be about anything. There also is a lightning round.
Practice consists of game simulations. Students at the tables while advisors read sample questions or questions from previous tournaments.
Just last week, the Academic team took on the high school staff in one competition and then their parents later in the week. While it was “practice” it was also a healthy competitive battle.
“We love the kids on the Academic team,” coach Pam Schultz said. “They are super smart and love to have a good time. Our goal is always to beat Oakwood. But honestly, for some, it is just about hanging out with friends and the snacks.”