On Saturday March 16, Elizabethtown High School hosted the Pennsylvania State History Bowl. While it was a competition for Pennsylvania, Delaware schools were also allowed to participate.
P.S. DuPont Middle School was attempting to put together a team on short notice. With only two competitors, the parent/coach invited members to invite a friend or two. P.S. DuPont student and 2012 WMS graduate Ben Connor invited fellow alum Ben Snyder (a student at Wilmington Friends) to join the team just three days prior to the event. As it turned out, the other original member, a student from P.S., was ill that day, leaving the team to just the two Bens (much to their surprise).
While some teams "prepare" by running practices, Ben and Ben had little notice of the competition and decided to approach this as a fun adventure.
The event consists of five rounds of competition, followed by a semi-final and final. Each round has four quarters, each with a different set of rules. Typical questions are a paragraph long, starting with more obscure information, gradually leading to more commonly known hints by question's end. Team members (up to four per team) use a buzzer to ring in, similar to what is done on the quiz show Jeopardy.
Ben and Ben did well enough to compete in the final and then take the trophy. Here is the summary as written on the PA History Bowl website. Note that in the final, teams are given high school level questions!
In the Middle School division, Darren Pitts, a one-student team from Scranton, upset the #1 seed from St. Stephen's in the semifinal, and then faced the two-student team from P.S. DuPont in the finals. After an exciting match on high school questions that saw all but 1 question between the two teams get answered in the third quarter, P.S. DuPont pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim the title.
They received one plaque between them and had the dilemma of what to do with it. The boys decided they wanted to share it with WMS, a place they not only feel at home, but also the school that brought them together as teammates and friends.