History bowl goes to capital

The high school history bowl teams traveled to Washington, D.C. April 27 for the National History Bowl competition. Iola took both a varsity and JV team to compete with the total 132 varsity and 66 JV teams.

The competition was divided into two rounds. The varsity had five matches in the first round and three in the second. In the second round, Iola tied for first with a 2-1 record. Unfortunately, the tie breaker of total points put Iola in third. The varsity ended with a 2-6 record.

The JV team also had two rounds, with five matches in each. Its record was 3-7.

The varsity team was made up of seniors Eli Grover, Colton Schubert, Cody Cokely, Jordan Strickler and Jason Tidd and juniors Alexis Hobbs and Mickey Ingle. The JV team was sophomores Travis Hermstein, An­drew Waldman and Jonathan Tidd with freshmen Taylor Heslop and Ankit Gandhi. The sponsors were Jeff Fehr and Travis Hermstein.

Fehr said the team did well by defeating teams from Alabama and Washington state.

Hermstein said the team “did really well” and was able to “experience history – not only learn history, but do and apply it; it’s more than just a text book.”
Fehr said “hopefully we will qualify next year and new team members could strengthen us.”
Grover said “I feel like we did well against the hard competition we faced.”
Even though the history bowl trip was done over the weekend, the students did not escape learning. Opportunities to learn abounded in Washington. Grover said “we learned a lot.”
The team first visited the National Archives, the home to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and one of the four copies of the 1297 Magna Carta.
While on the National Mall, the students made sure to visit many of the memorials. Sophomore Travis Hermstein, who is considering majoring in architecture in college, especially liked the monuments. He said that “seeing them in person is a lot more exciting than Google images.”
The many museums posed perfect opportunities to learn history outside of a text book. The Smithsonian Castle gave way to numerous Smithsonian museums. Most of the museums covered history, but there was also a museum of science. Art galleries accompanied the museums.
The students also gained a valuable experience. Many of the students had never been on an airplane before. Mass transit via the metro was also a new experience. For those who had taken Hermstein’s sociology class, they were able to relate some of what they learned in class to the real world.
“Even though D.C. was a blast, it is nice to be back home to good, old Iola, Kansas,” Waldman said.