CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Twenty-four teams of eighth graders are vying to be the next State History Bowl champion.

The 15th annual History Bowl finals got underway at the Culture Center Tuesday. Hosted by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, the event brought in students from 19 schools across 11 counties to compete for the championship title.

WVDACH Curator Randall Reid-Smith told 580 WCHS that competition aside, it’s a very exciting day for the students who participate.

“They love finding out about their state, and finding out about the people who came before them, it’s just a great, great day,” said Reid-Smith.

Randall Reid-Smith

The double-elimination tournament included lightening rounds and team rounds featuring questions about the state pertaining to not just history, but West Virginia’s culture, heritage, geography, literature, sports and tourism.

First and second place winners from schools across eight districts were chosen to compete in Tuesday’s quiz bowl, along with another eight teams from a play-in tournament.

Libby Delsignore was one eighth grader competing Tuesday with her team from Keyser Middle School in Mineral County.

She said it was her first time ever getting to compete in the history bowl, and they worked hard to get there.

“It was really scary going to play-ins, because obviously we didn’t know if we were going to come to states or not, and it was kind of a big win when we did end up coming to states, so it feels kind of like surreal to be here,” Delsignore said.

Keyser Middle has been champions of Region 8, the Panhandle region for the last six consecutive years, and they had already won three matches starting off the day Tuesday.

Teammate Uriah Swick said the tensions have been a little high against their running-up competitors, Frankfort Middle, despite how good they have been doing so far.

“We just played Frankfort, which is a team we already beat in our region, so there was a little bit of pressure to beat them, but I feel like, considering the fact that we were going up against that pressure we did pretty well,” he said.

Swick expected them to do good in their later matches Tuesday, as well.

Reid-Smith said the state’s culture and history is a major focus in academic curriculum, being one of only two states that offer a year long study of the state.

He said through West Virginia Studies, students learn about the state’s history, heritage and culture and they then use that knowledge to compete in the annual Golden Horseshoe competition.

However, Reid-Smith said back in 2010 when the state was building up for its 150th anniversary, the History Bowl was formed as a way to continue to test students’ knowledge about West Virginia and learn to be proud of the place they call home.

“Something we can have the kids come in, build pride in who we are,” Reid-Smith said. “So many firsts happen in our state and what they learn about our state is amazing through History Bowl.”

Coach of the Keyser Middle School team, Tommy Nester agrees that the history bowl gets students excited and passionate about their home state.


“It’s an amazing opportunity for our students to learn and take pride in our state,” Nester said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to take and learn about their roots in our state, and it’s just a great opportunity for them to be prideful of the state.”

The other competing teams Tuesday included:

. Region 1 champions Park Middle School in Raleigh County and runner-up Mountain View Middle in Monroe County

. Region 2 champions Huntington Middle School and runner-up Milton Middle

. Region 3 champion Winfield Middle School in Putnam County and runner-up Bible Center Middle in Kanawha County

. Region 4 two teams from Summersville Middle School in Nicholas County was champion and runner-up

. Region 5 champion Edison Middle and runner-up Jackson Middle in Wood County

. Region 6 Sherrard Middle School in Marshall County also took the champion and runner-up spots

. Region 7 champion South Middle School Team 1and runner-up South Middle Team 2 in Monongalia County


Play-in competitors for some of the regions included:

. In region 1 Team 2 from Park Middle School in Raleigh County and Peterstown Middle in Monroe County

. Madison Middle School in Boone County in Region 3

. Cameron High School in Marshall County for Region 6

. And Doddridge County Middle School in Doddridge County and Mountaineer Middle in Monongalia County for Region 7

Eighth graders from public, private and home-school education programs were eligible to compete in the History Bowl.