Championship season for Coaler Scholastic Bowl

Ann Gill

The definition of a champion is, “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition.” That’s the perfect description for the Coaler Scholastic Bowl team.
After coming in second at the annual Illinois Masonic Tournament in mid-February, the team dominated the Interstate Eight Conference tournament and then went on to earn the Regional title, the school’s first since the 2004-2005 season.
According to the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) on-line data base,  Coal City has only had two scholastic bowl teams to earn a regional title. The 2004-2005 title was in 1A, so that makes this year’s team the first in school history to claim a 2A regional championship and earn a spot in the 2A sectional tournament.
In earning the regional title the Coalers defeated teams from Minooka (370-350), Joliet West (490-320) and LaSalle-Peru (420-260).  
In the sectional the Coalers faced the eventual 2A champion—University Lab School from Urbana.
This year’s team is the final group of Coalers to compete for the Interstate Eight title as the school is moving into a new conference next year.
At the conference meet in February, the team defeated Sandwich by  a score of 400-30, Peotone 390-200, Herscher 350-260 and in the championship round took down Lisle with a final score of 330-80.
All Conference selections were Dominic Curtis, Preston Johnson and Mason Mulcahy. They are also the top three scorers for the season.
Curtis, a junior, racked up a season-high of 161 toss up points followed by seniors  Johnson with 66 and Mulcahy with 57.
Rounding out the top five scorers were Luke Cairns with 44 points and Brooke Hardy with 36.
Scholastic Bowl is an academic challenge that tests student knowledge in a number of areas from mathematics and science, to literature and fine arts.
Coached by CCHS English teacher Emily Johnson Hayes, the varsity team is comprised of 19 members who earned a season total of 502 toss up points.
The team also includes Trevor Hanson, Jacob Shumaker, Cody Rogers, Aspen Johnson, Sydni Bortels, John Majesky-Wills, Kristian Maskel, Nathan Fisher, Peighton Gill, Alicia Laroeuch, Christian Overston, Logan Barrus, Xander Smith and Shannon Hakey.