RHS, Belgreen Scholars Bowl teams qualify for state tourney

Franklin County can boast some smart students after a February competition.

The Russellville High School and Belgreen Scholars Bowl teams competed in the Alabama Scholastic Competition Association’s high school district tournament at Northwest-Shoals Community College Feb. 11 in Phil Campbell.

The tournament consisted of two divisions. RHS competed in Division I, and Belgreen competed in Division II – each finishing first in their pool, both teams thus qualifying to compete in the ASCA state tournament in April.

Russellville’s team had the highest points per game average in the tournament, and Dalton Stults led the team with a total of 250 points.

The RHS team consists of Stults, Noah Harville, Gabe Amick, Steven McCormick, team captain Grace McDermitt and Damien Tompkins. Their coach is Susan Hammack DeArman.

DeArman said it was wonderful to get back to playing face-to-face competition. She said her team was eager and well-prepared.

“Their hard work and dedication really paid off,” DeArman said. “They went up against Muscle Shoals (360-130), Decatur (280-140), Austin (410-110) and Florence (430-120). I thought they would do well in the tournament, but I didn’t expect as big of a win as they had. We’re all thrilled with the way things turned out, and we can’t wait for the state tournament.”

McDermitt, a senior, explained they went up against teams that are conventionally known to be challenging opponents.

“We worked really well together and had a great time,” McDermitt said. “We couldn’t have done it without our coach.

“It was wonderful to reconnect with other Scholars Bowl teams and get to have an in-person tournament again.”

Amick, a senior, agreed it was rewarding to be back in a live tournament. “It was good to get out there and compete and see where we are as a team, as well as to see all the fruits of everything we have worked for in a tangible way.”

Stults, a sophomore, said he and his teammates “all worked really hard and worked well together.”

The Belgreen team consists of Aylssa Betts, Kyle Hawkins, Quentin Durrett, team captain Landen Etherington and Carlos Garcia. Their coach is Mary Motes.

Motes said the team has come far, and she’s proud of what they have accomplished.

“Belgreen went 4-0 against Deshler, South Lamar, Hatton and Gordo, finishing the tournament with a total of 870 points and winning the Division II District Tournament. They’ve made a lot of progress in just two years.”

She said their first year to compete, they went in as freshmen and sophomores and came in last place – then had to take a year off because of COVID-19.

“They have returned strong and ready for the state competition in April,” Motes said. “I’m very pleased with how well they are doing.”

Motes said Durrett led the team in scoring with 210 individual points and contributed to many of the bonus points.

“The team worked hard to prepare for the district competition, and they were rewarded with going undefeated and qualifying for the state competition,” Motes said. “We can’t wait to see how we do there as well.”

Betts expressed her enthusiasm for the scholastic competition. “Scholars Bowl is the most fun compared to my other competitions, and I’m so happy we are getting to play again.”

NW-SCC public information officer Trent Randolph said the school enjoyed hosting the 2022 High School District Scholars Bowl tournament. “We congratulate all the teams on the way they competed and especially Russellville and Belgreen for winning their divisions. We wish them the best at the state competition in April.”

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