Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

February 25, 2013

Cumberland scholastic team makes television debut

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

TOLEDO — The Cumberland High School Scholastic Bowl team had a chance to show their skills on the small screen Sunday.

Members of the team, coached by math teacher Brendan Aydet, competed on "Scholastic Hi-Q," a quiz program on WSIU Public Television.

The contest, a variation on the traditional scholar bowl games, featured questions ranging from toss-up to one-on-one and a lightning round. Sunday's match saw Cumberland defeat Mount Vernon High School, 505 to 425.

Aydet, who has coached Scholastic Bowl for seven years, said the team was invited to compete on the show last year, and Sunday's match was filmed in November.

"They sent out invitations for the competition last year, and we went down," he said. "We won in the first round against Benson, 465 to 435. That brought us up against Mount Vernon."

The difference between the traditional Scholar Bowl competitions and the one the team would be participating in on "Scholastic Hi-Q" was something Aydet said was fun for the students who were able to participate.

"The format is a little different," he said. "It has a little more of a gameshow element. Kids have a lot of fun with it. We had four who were ale to participate on that."

The team has had further opportunities to show off its skill. After winning the Masonic Academic Bowl Sectional on Feb. 16 at Neoga, the team will be heading the Masonic State tournament on March 2 and competing in the IHSA Regional on March 9.

Aydet said the team has been working to meet those challenges.

"We started practicing for the show about a week or so before," he said. "Since the format is a little different, we wanted to be prepared for anything. Now, we practice about four or five times a week."

Those practices have not only broadened students' horizons, but have also brought them together.

"The program and the show really test students' knowledge," he said. "There's a lot of academically based questions and a couple of pop culture ones and some of them are not things that they'll learn inside of school. It helps that this team gets along really well together."

Aydet said the opportunity for the students to compete before a large audience could bring more attention to the team.

"I think it definitely had teacher parents and students come in and see the kids," he said. "The kids like people to see them do what they do."

The episode of "Scholastic Hi-Q" will repeat on March 24.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.