Emotions ran high as the team traveled five and a half hours to Satanta, located in Southwest Kansas. But Coach Boggs said that something happened to the players as the Cair Paravel team was announced during the opening ceremony. He saw a marked difference in their demeanor as they gathered for a team prayer and focused on the task at hand.
Only seven other teams stood between the CPLS team and the 1A, Division 1 State title.
Within a few hours the players found themselves advancing again as one of the top four teams and began participating in bracket play. The final round featured the CPLS team competing against the reigning state champs from Satanta HS who has claimed the honor for five straight years.
James Seidel has coached the CPLS Scholars Bowl team for 18 years. His goals for the students are always the same:
Glorify God, Have Fun, And Win!
He plans to modify the wording of the final goal to WIN STATE now that his players can finally compete for state honors as a KSHAA member school.
The 2020-21 roster had 14 varsity players and another 8 players who competed at the junior varsity level. The team spends around 30 minutes each week practicing the quirks of execution which include things like how to quickly recall information, the mechanics of hitting the buzzer, and how to accept uncertainty.
Coach Seidel went on to explain that the team doesn’t dedicate time to learning new content. Their knowledge base is built organically from the coursework that every student completes at CPLS. Coach Boggs reiterated that “This really sets our students apart from other teams who devote hours each week to learning new material.”
At the end of the day, CPLS came within five points (the equivalent of one question) from being the state champions.
The future is bright for the CPLS Scholar’s Bowl program as 3 of their 6 state tournament team players will return next year, including team captain and junior, James Keys.
Coach Seidel praised Keys for his calm presence under pressure. “James really listens to his teammates and his steady influence stabilizes the whole team.”
The team returned to Topeka proudly carrying the 1A, Division 1 State Runner Up trophy, but already thinking about next season.