The team to beat

11 Mar

Despite the beautiful Spring-like day outside, four students, their families and I spent the better part of the day inside. It was the Regional Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) tournament.

Last year, this same team were the Middle School State Champs!


This year, we were the team to beat. Maybe you remember that old Avis advertising line, “We try harder”, when they were consistently #2 behind Hertz. Well, we were Hertz. Everybody else was Avis – just a little hungrier than these four.

Our practices the two weeks leading up to the tournament were spotty. One book (Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson) seemed to be their nemesis. It was such a weak point that I kept making a joke out of it as I quizzed them, calling it their favorite book.

They started off a little rocky in their first battle, winning the match, but not with a brilliant score. Fortunately, they had boned up on Rebel Mechanics and got every question about that book.  By the end of the 4 battles of pool play, their mojo had kicked in and we were tied for 5th place and assured a spot on the next “Sweet Sixteen” round. Only Sixteen of the 40+ teams got to continue on.

Their “Sweet Sixteen” battle was probably the hardest fought – a come from behind victory that moved them into the “Elite Eight”. That battle was quick and they were a well-oiled machine again, easily defeating their opponents and jumping into the “Final Four” pool. A nice place to be, but only the top three teams get to go to the State OBOB tournament.

By now, six battles in, they were humming. They took an early lead in their “Final Four”  battle and never really looked back (except for that one answer…).

Their final battle for the day was to determine who got first place and who got second. The pressure was off for both teams. Both would go to State. Across the hall, the two teams battling for the third spot were, perhaps, a little more stressed. Despite the certainty of their place at State, my students did a superb job and triumphed.

The end was almost anticlimactic. Some hurried photos, alone and with the top three teams. Two of my students had also qualified for the next level at tour school Science Fair and had to rush off to take make their presentations.

I’ll give them a break next week. We have parent teacher conferences and only three days of school anyway. But, the following week, we will be back to practicing. There are a few new candidates for nemesis book, I have a brilliant idea on how to comb through each book for details,  and we have a title to defend.


6 Responses to “The team to beat”

  1. elsie March 11, 2018 at 6:34 am #

    And you continue to be Hertz! Yay! You had me worried for a paragraph or two. Good luck in the next round.

    • Adrienne March 11, 2018 at 6:53 am #

      I was worried at various points along the way!

  2. vicki s March 11, 2018 at 6:45 am #

    I can tell basketball is in the air and must be close to your heart. What a way to transform battle of the books into something that it is very deserving of. If you talk with your students in the same way you wrote your blog, I can see why your students reach such high levels of success. Thanks for the inspiration and Congratulations on a job well done!

  3. Brian Rozinsky March 11, 2018 at 6:48 am #

    March Madness reigns! I enjoyed this recap and wish the team well as it advances.

  4. arjeha March 11, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    What a great bunch of kids and what great leadership. Your students can be really proud of themselves. Congrats all around.

  5. terierrol March 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

    Sounds like an exciting day. Congratulations to you and your students.

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