Regular cross-border foes shelved their friendly rivalry for an unprecedented team-up effort on Saturday, July 9, in what has become an annual all-ages competitive quiz bowl event on the campus of Tusculum University in east Tennessee.
Bailey Watts, a sophomore at Adair County High School, and Trey Stephens, a junior at Russell County High School, teamed up and — together with two college teammates from the University of Florida — battled through nine rounds of competition to become this year’s Open Academic Summer Tournament champions.
Typically, academic team tournaments are divided into high school, middle school, or college level divisions, but this was a rare, unique experience that Tennessee offered players across the country that combined all age groups. Also unique to open tournaments like this one is that competitors are not confined to competing from the school in which they are enrolled. Even adults interested in quiz competition are allowed to compete in such events.
As the new school year approaches, this proved to be a positive momentum builder entering the upcoming academic team season. Both participants expect a fun-filled experience with competitions this school year in what promises to be a season with several in-state and interstate matchups against elite teams.