April 5, 2005 The competition was tight for this year's V.I. Quiz Bowl championship. But after 16 tough games, Country Day School emerged, once again, as the winner Tuesday afternoon.
Students were asked questions on a variety of subject areas, including music, literature, art, math, science, history, sports, general knowledge and current events. The competition began Sunday with nine public, private and parochial schools, but by Tuesday the third and final day of the competition only five schools remained.
Charlotte Amalie, Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Croix Central and Ivanna Eudora Kean high schools were eliminated from the double-elimination tournament Monday, leaving Country Day, All Saints, Antilles, Good Hope and St. Croix Educational Complex high schools to battle it out in Tuesday's session.
Country Day and Antilles were the only two schools that had not yet lost a game at the end of Monday's competition.
Tuesday began with Good Hope eliminating All Saints, which had lost 285-125 to Country Day on Monday. That left Antilles as the only St. Thomas school left in the race. Country Day then defeated Antilles 310-250 in Game 13.
In Game 14, Educational Complex lost to Good Hope 240-205. That eliminated Educational Complex, which on Monday had lost to Antilles 300-155. Good Hope's luck ran out in Game 15, though, during a rematch with Antilles, when it lost 195-180. It was the second time Antilles beat Good Hope, following its 255-170 win on Sunday.
Antilles, which was defeated by Country Day in 2004, then sought to take back the title, but Country Day was determined. The teams fought hard in the final four rounds as radio personality Sam Topp asked them brain-teasing questions.
"Which U.S. state and chemical element share the same abbreviation, 'CA'?" Topp asked. Antilles answered correctly with California and calcium.
The teams were stumped by other questions, like the "q-word" synonym for the word proficient "qualified."
At the end of the four rounds, it was clear that Country Day's team, "Guy's Gals and Guys," was the clear winner with a 300-175 victory over Antilles.
The Palms Court Haborview conference room erupted with cheers and applause at Country Day's win.
"This is a big day for St. Croix," Country Day Coach Kevin Marin said. The team, named in honor of its former coach Guy Roth, wanted to win badly in the last two years "in honor of Guy," Marin said. Roth was sick when the team played last April, and he died in August.
"This is a tradition that they hope to keep for as long as they can," Marin said.
Catherine James, the team's co-captain, said, "We knew that there was going to be some stiff competition, but we were determined to win."
James, a senior, was participating in the local event for the last time. She and the other team members co-captain Hilary Komlanc, Sam Mares, Cynthia Pisani, Peter Rusev and Britta Victor will attend the national competition in New Orleans later this year.
Komlanc, Mares and Pisani are also seniors. Marin said next year he will have a "young team," but he looks forward to training and competing with them for the next several years.
Victor, a junior participating for the first time, said she is looking forward to next year's local competition.
"It was really fun and exciting," Victor said.
The American Federation of Teachers Local 1825 and public television station WTJX, Channel 12, sponsor the V.I. Quiz Bowl, which has been going for 27 years. Henrietta Warner, a fourth-grade teacher at Joseph Sibilly School, and Diana Parker, executive director of Beacon Schools of the Virgin Islands, serve as coordinators for the games.
ATF President Vernelle de Lagarde said she was pleased with the number of schools participating in this year's event. De Lagarde said sometimes people ask her why the private and parochial schools get involved in the competition. This is because when the students go off to college, they will find other students from all walks of life and different school backgrounds, she said.
"We're preparing our students to compete globally," de Lagarde said. "The emphasis here is to strive for academic excellence."
Sen. Lorraine L. Berry presented the winning team with a trophy. Berry also gave the AFT a $500 check from her husband, Richard, and herself in memory of their son, Ken, who passed away in 1988. It is to be used to buy a new buzzer system for the competition. Ken, who was 15 when he died, was a member of the Sts. Peter and Paul High School quiz bowl team. Berry has awarded a trophy in his honor each year since he died.
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