MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon High School’s In the Know academic challenge team had a great season this year.
“We had 10 wins in the Ohio Academic Competition,” said coach Rob Fetters. “We made it to second place in the WMFD (Mansfield) Scholastic Showdown. That was a squeaker. We tied it up and Ontario got the tie-breaker in overtime.
“In the WOSU In the Know tournament, we beat St. Charles, who has a reputation for always winning these things statewide. We went on, like last year, to lose to the championship team in the semifinal round by one question. We lost to Dublin Scioto, the team that went on to win the championship. We came in third overall.”
The team and individual team members received plaques for the WOSU tournament finish, a $2,000 grant from Westfield Insurance and two $2,000 scholarships for a MVHS graduates attending Ohio State University.
Fetters said MVHS used to have to pay $200 to go compete at WOSU, but now the Westfield Insurance grant takes care of that. “The grant is intended partly to help our team to afford tournaments and things,” said Fetters, “but it’s also partly to provide some kind of programming for the entire student body.”
Although the In the Know team “earned” the two OSU scholarships, other students have benefited from the award in the past and will again: If none of the In the Know seniors are planning to attend Ohio State University, the scholarships are passed on to another MVHS graduate.
Josh Campbell has been on the In the Know team for all four years of his high school career. He is thrilled that the team did so well his final year, especially coming in third at the WOSU event.
“This is just a great experience,” he said. “It’s a great way to wrap up our senior year, getting to become the third-place team out of 62 in the entire state, including some very prestigious schools.”
Campbell said being on the team has helped him in other classes.
“It’s made me think a lot more and try to work a lot more memorizing various things that I’ve had to for various classes,” he explained. “It’s given me more reason to do memory stuff in global issues or world history or calculus or any of the various classes we’ve had.”
Although Campbell likes to think of himself as a generalist as far as In the Know categories are concerned, he said he was one of the main math scholars, “even though I do better at things like social science questions than anything else.”
Campbell, the son of Scott and Betsy Campbell, does plan to pursue a career in mathematics or computer science.
Campbell would encourage other students to join In the Know. He said, “It’s a great program and we’ve got to keep the team up so they can keep getting further and further and potentially become the number one team in the state in the near future.”
Although freshmen are welcome, Fetters said it is unusual for freshmen to compete in the tournaments, but Campbell did when he was a freshman, and this year, so did Toby Baumann.
MVHS students who received semifinal awards were: Walker Griggs, Toby Baumann, Campbell, John Kolberg, Jacob Miller, Alex Robinson and Casey Long.