USM "College Quiz Bowl" challenges students

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Students from USM and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College squared-off Wednesday in a fierce competition.

But it wasn't their athletic ability on display.

They were flexing their "brain power" at the second annual "College Quiz Bowl."

The college quiz bowl is a lot like Jeopardy.

"What auto-maker created the Model-T ?" asked emcee Jeff Lawson.

The WLOX-TV anchor played the role of Alex Trebek for this collegiate event.

Knowing the correct answer is only the first step.

But, along with working the mind, the quiz bowl also tests the reflexes. Competitors must also be first to "hit the slammer."

"Einstein ?" asked one competitor, after buzzing in on a physics question.

The fast pace of this brain bending exercise is enough to frazzle the nerves.

"Amazing. Nerve wracking. And just incredible," said Avery Hilbert, in describing her feelings.

"I was really worried. We weren't being fast enough on the buzzer. It was like, we knew all the questions. But we weren't fast enough. So, we sped up our game and we came back," said teammate, Karlea Meadows.

"Mardi Gras please," said a team member, selecting from the big board.

A USM team added to its commanding lead with that category.

"Fat Tuesday!" shouted one teammate, answering the question, what does Mardi Gras stand for.

"You never know what you're going to get. But I think we were pretty well prepared for it," said Brandon Milstead, a member of the MGCCC team.

"It's real broad. But if you read a lot and you're kind of an intellect, it's a fun exercise. I think everybody enjoys it," said USM student, Jordan McCraray.

The community college team bounced back big time, thanks to a winning "daily double."

And the USM team eventually lost its big lead to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Was it a case of over confidence?

"It was the science questions, the science and health questions that killed us. We're all English majors," said Catherine Franklin, as she offered the explanation.

For the "Reflections" team, a diversity of knowledge across several categories, sealed the deal.

"Everybody on the team knows something different. So, we picked an incredible team. It was awesome," said Hilbert.

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