Saturday’s annual Northwestern Regional Library Quiz Bowl at the Andy Griffith Playhouse is the best of both worlds for participants as well as the audience.
“This is very much a spectator sport,” said long-time quiz bowl coach Terry Collins, who first participated in the event in 1984 when it was just starting in the county. Collins was a North Surry High student at the time. He said the team had eight students — four leads and four alternates.
“I believe North Surry won that year,” recalled Collins. “It was a lot of fun. I was truly in rarefied air at that point. It was cool to be in for me because it was something more school oriented that drama or the other activities I was involved in at the time. Some of my best friends were on that team and I’m still in touch with them.”
Collins is an English teacher at East Surry, where he continues coaching quiz bowl teams. He explained the team he first competed on had no idea how to prepare for a quiz bowl. He said the team read up on current events, memorized historic dates in addition to team members specializing in one subject.
“You have to have overall knowledge, but it’s good to have someone who specializes,” said Collins. He explained that after college he was first hired at Surry Central, where they also were looking for a quiz bowl coach. He said he particularly enjoys working with the kids. He says quiz bowl teams tend to attract all ages and very different personalities.
“They told me they needed a coach and I said, sure. It was fate or predestination,” said Collins. “When I went to East Surry later, they asked me if I’d be interested in coaching for quiz bowl and I told them absolutely.”
Collins’ team this season is composed of senior and juniors.
“Kids like trivia and showing off their knowledge, especially current events,” said Collins. “Folks who come out to watch every year say they had no idea what the answers to some of the questions were and they were impressed the kids did.” He said his team got started late, but they have a lot of strong competitors returning this season.
“We used the Jeopardy qualifier software this week as a warm up so we’ll be ready,” said Collins.
Another quiz bowl participant who returned to the area and acts as a judge for the events is Pilot Mountain Town Manager Homer Dearmin.
“I really enjoyed quiz bowl,” said Dearmin, who participated in his first bowl in 1998. “I’ve always been one who enjoys learning history and I was drawn to the team by friends and English teacher Norma Draughn who was the team’s coach at the time. Competition was just like on a television program.”
Dearmin said he also enjoyed competition in a setting outside class that combined the fun of competition.
“It’s cool to be back as a judge,” added Dearmin. “It’s really neat to see the kids work so hard for the quiz bowl and to see them putting in the time and effort energy into it. If nothing else though, I would like to get across that it is definitely fun to watch. It is like being at a live taping of Jeopardy. It is a spectator sport and everyone should come out and see.”
Quiz bowl is sponsored by the 13 libraries of the Northwestern Regional Library in Alleghany, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties as well as the Elkin Friends of the Library and Mount Airy Friends of the Library. Surry Central took top honors last year with Elkin High School as runner up.
The program is free and the public is invited to attend. It is scheduled to be held at 9:30 a.m.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or at 719-1952.