MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Hard work pays off, or at least it did for the Morgantown High School (MHS) History Bowl Team, which recently placed second in the National Winter Bowl.
Alex Godfrey, a social studies teacher at MHS and the team’s sponsor, said his five competitors worked hard for weeks to achieve second place out of 50 teams. He especially thanked Isabella Ferrel, a junior and club founder, who he said was “the driving force” behind the team’s success. For her part, Ferrell said, she was happy to see their hard work pay off.
“It feels really good,” she said. “We’ve been working really hard since last year. And it’s — we meet on Fridays and we all put in the work in our classes at school and put in some work outside of school too. We’re all really excited about placing second, that’s huge for us.”
Now that the MHS team has placed second, they will be taking part in a national contest in May, Godfrey said.
He trusts that his students will be ready and that they won’t need too much of his help to prepare.
“They drive the club,” he said. “I do very little. The kids — they work so hard. I mean all through this entire pandemic. They have organized their own practices on Fridays. They have put in hours of work every week on this. And I just want to make sure that’s noted because they’re just amazing for how hard they work.”
Putting their heads down to study and practice for the national competition is exactly what Ferrell and her teammates plan on doing.
“We will definitely work harder,” she said. “The national will probably be online this year — it will definitely be online this year with COVID. But we will keep doing our practices and studying and working hard.”
Despite having to work harder for May’s contest, Ferrell said the MHS team is not deterred.
That probably has to do with the fact that they are all “very intrinsically motivated,” as Godfrey said, and they know what is required of them.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Ferrell said. “It’s such a huge opportunity, and it’s always so fun to make it to that level and have that competition.”
All of MHS’s success would not be possible without the support of many people. Godfrey said he would especially like to thank the MHS Foundation for providing the team with funding.
“They gave us quite a bit of money for nationals last year, which was canceled because of COVID,” he said. “But we’ve been able to use that money for the competition so far this year, so we would like to thank them for their support and all their help.”
Godfrey also thanked friends and family members who helped emotionally and financially.