IHS gets its smarts on

LifeSmarts challenge team ranks 9th in nation and Scholars Bowl 2nd in state

The IHS LifeSmarts team of (left to right) Yohon Sinclair, Taylor Heslop, Abigail Taylor, Clara Wicoff and Ryan Eyster represented Kansas at nationals in late April.

The IHS LifeSmarts team of (left to right) Yohon Sinclair, Taylor Heslop, Abigail Taylor, Clara Wicoff and Ryan Eyster represented Kansas at nationals in late April.

Geek. Nerd. Smartypants. Many people at IHS may have been called one of these names before. But the Scholars Bowl and LifeSmarts teams have proven that being smart has its payoffs.

The LifeSmarts team returned home April 21 from national competition in Seattle tied for ninth in the U.S. Over that weekend, the team took part in multiple rounds of competition Iola.

The LifeSmarts group earned exceptional bragging rights and the trip to Washington state in March by snagging a state championship win. Taylor Heslop was first in health and safety at nationals and received a $500 college scholarship.

In Scholars Bowl, Iola High was back-to-back regional champ and went on to place third at the state competition. The team also earned the prestigious opportunity to compete in the elite televised portion of the Quest Bowl competition.

LifeSmarts
In early March, the LifeSmarts team of Heslop, Abigail Taylor, Clara Wicoff, Yohon Sinclair and Ryan Eyster traveled to Prairie View to compete against nine other teams for the state title.

Iola came out on top with a clutch victory against Nickerson in the final round after being down by 50 points. The win earned the students an all-expenses-paid trip to Seattle for the national competition. “It is quite an honor to be captain of this team,” Heslop said. “There are such bright kids in our group.”

The Iola team traveled to Seattle and tied for ninth in the final round of the national competition. “It was definitely a great experience, and visiting Seattle was worth missing prom for,” said Wicoff.

LifeSmarts is built upon five categories: health and safety, personal finance, technology, consumer rights and responsibilities, and environment. “I like LifeSmarts because, unlike a lot of other competitions, the information you learn and study…helps get teenagers ready for the real world,” said Taylor Heslop.

The IHS Scholars Bowl team of Clara Wicoff, Clarie Moran, Garrett Prall, Jonathan Tidd and Andrew Waldman was third at state.
The IHS Scholars Bowl team of Clara Wicoff, Clarie Moran, Garrett Prall, Jonathan Tidd and Andrew Waldman was third at state.

Scholars Bowl
This year, the Iola Scholars Bowl team left more than just a mark on the school. With multiple high-competition wins, it is safe to say this is one of the best seasons that the Scholars Bowl team has ever had.

Throughout the normal season, Iola placed at almost every meet, taking home multiple first place medals. This made the team league champions once again, but for this years team, that wasn’t anything to brag about.

What set this year’s team apart from the last was qualifying for the televised Quest Bowl competition at Washburn University. Iola and 15 other teams beat out the other 34 teams in the preliminary rounds to earn a spot in the televised portion.

On Jan. 31, the Scholars Bowl team of Jonathan Tidd, Clara Wicoff, Clarie Moran, Garrett Prall, Sarah Gonzalez and Andrew Waldman traveled Washburn for the first round of Quest against Louisburg. Louisburg, like always, proved to be a thorn in the team’s side. Although the team didn’t return home with a win, “it was a great experience,” said Jonathan Tidd.

On Feb. 5, the team walked out of Fort Scott with more than experience. The team returned home regional champions and a chance at state for the second year in a row. What made championship even more rewarding, Iola managed to beat Louisburg twice after losing to them for so many years and at Quest.

On Feb. 14, the team traveled to Wellington for a shot at the state title. Iola and 11 other teams battled for one of the 6 spots in the final round-robin series. After just making it into the final rounds, Iola went against 5 other teams, most of which being state competition veterans.

“I definitely did not expect our team to place third at state,” Wicoff said. “…It is important to recognize that teams from much larger schools compete at the state Scholars Bowl meet.”

Overall, the team believes that this year was the season to beat all seasons for Scholars Bowl. With league and regional champion titles under their belt, being able to represent Iola at the state level made this season all the more rewarding and something to be proud of.