Schools test their smarts at scholars bowl - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Schools test their smarts at scholars bowl

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"What is the probability that all six coins come up heads?" the coach asks.

That's the sound of some of South Burlington's top scholars problem solving. They're getting ready for this weekend's state competition.

"One in 64 ... boom got it! Woo!"

"You could say that we're the nerd club of the school, but that's not really true," says Philip Holt, a member of the Scholars Bowl Team.

Holt is a Junior at South Burlington High School. He says he knows a little bit of information about a lot of things and he gets most of it from reading.

"I have a subscription to National Geographic, Time, I read history books, my dad was a history major, basically in my spare time, I like to learn things," he says.

Reporter: "In all kinds of topics."

Holt: "Yeah, except literature and music. I'm bad at that."

"In another work, this author of Ghandi's Truth ..." the coach starts.

Many times, the coach doesn't even get the whole question out, and these competitors are ready to answer. Captain Charlotte Mills is following in her brothers' footsteps as she leads this team.

"My oldest brother Nate went to Rice and he was a prominent sort of player on their team and my other older brother Dan was the Captain of CVU," she says.

Dan was an individual state champion in 2003, but a team title has eluded all three of them. Charlotte's South Burlington team has been runner-up for three years. She's hoping to break the family jinx!

"Charlotte is our music and literature person," Holt says. "She's good at that. Dan is good at geography and math. I cover history science and random things nobody else knows cause they're not worth knowing. We definitely have our areas of specialty and we take that into account when we put teams together."

"That's really one of the lessons of scholars bowl. Nobody knows everything. Who does? You're a team and if I don't know an answer i hope one of my teammates does," says Scholars Bowl Coach Eric Stone.

Stone has been the scholars bowl coach for 15 years.

"I was also a player for Essex way back in the day," he says. "Yeah, one of the original, when it was on the radio, Vermont Public Television, I was a player on that team."

The camaraderie on this team is obvious. They love to have fun and don't take themselves too seriously, including their coach!

"Somebody may be sitting in the audience and know the answer to every single question, but they may not be a good scholars bowler because they can't get it quick enough that's the trick!" Stone says.

A trick this team has mastered.

BFA-St. Albans, Burlington, Champlain Valley, Essex, Hanover, Lamoille, Middlebury, Mt. Abraham, Mt. Mansfield, Rice, South Burlington, Spaulding and St. Johnsbury are all competing today.

The scholars bowl state championships start at 10 a.m. at the University of Vermont's Campus Center Theatre.

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