The school’s academic bowl team coach, math teacher William Norman, has been coaching the River Ridge academic bowl for two years, and said the team members are all-around good students.
“They’re taking AP courses; we have one that’s already made Governor’s Honors as a sophomore,” Norman said. “Our kids are very competitive.”
River Ridge High School Principal Darrell Herring said the team is fantastic and he’s proud to have such a great group of students representing Cherokee County in the High Q competition.
“These kids have grown up giving us great expectations,” Herring said. “I think they’re ready; I think they’ll do great.”
The four students who will compete in the High Q competition, and the two alternates, were selected from the existing academic bowl team.
Captain Garrett Johnston, along with team members Chetan Velivela, Rishab Kaup and Brandon Perez, will represent the school’s team in the competition.
Velivela, an 11th-grader, said he’s been participating in academic bowl since middle school and he got involved with his friends.
“We went to a lot of tournaments, and I thought it was really fun,” he said.
Velivela said the team has done pretty well in tournaments this year, and he and the other High Q participants were selected based on their performance at the tournaments over the last year.
“I feel like we’ll do well since we’ve had enough practice,” Velivela said.
The team doesn’t have any seniors, but Norman said River Ridge has a great team.
“Last year, with all 9th- and 10th-graders, we made third in JV State,” Norman said. “The kids that will be with us on High Q have been with us from the very beginning. Our top-four kids has not really changed since I took over two years ago.”
Herring said that the superintendent and school board support the district’s academic endeavors, and that’s part of the reason he believes the students do so well.
“You’re going to have success in academics when you have that teamwork, that support, from every direction,” Herring said.
Norman said the academic bowl competition questions are “all over the board” and can include music, the arts and anything dealing with art history.
“They see everything from literature questions, they see a lot of social studies and science, math is not a highly emphasized subject because the math problems they get, they get 10 seconds to solve, and I’m very amazed that they can even get some of them done in 10 seconds,” Norman said. “The math problems that they have are very complex, there’s just not a lot of them that they see.”
Students Alex Soderstrom and Felicia Williams are alternates, and would take the place of their teammates in the competition in the event that one or two of them are unable to participate.
River Ridge High School will compete against Eastside High School on the game that will be broadcast on Dec. 15. If River Ridge wins, they will go on to play either Lakeside or Northview High School, in a game that would air on March 2, 2014.