Tensions were high in the Hamburg High School auditorium on Tuesday, May 21. Many students and teachers came to see who would be crowned the American History Champion in the highly anticipated, third annual, American History competition headed by Mr. David Kline.
While the crowd filed into their seats, six juniors stood backstage, awaiting to face the final round of the competition. The final championship would be the culmination of weeks of preliminary test and knock-out rounds. Only Damian Bausher, Cassandra Edmunds, Dakota Kolbe, Dustin Snyder, Julian Warner and Jordan Youndt were left standing. These six outstanding individuals were able to beat about fifty other juniors in American history trivia. It is important to note that Kai Miller was also one of these top six individuals, but was unable to participate in the final round. His alternate, Julian Warner, took his place.
The contestants were announced by Mr. Damian Buggy and were greeted by great applause from the crowd. There was underlying tension between Mr. Kline’s American Cultures classes and Mrs. Karen Mennig’s Honors American Studies class. Each class had three representatives in the finale. The tension continued into the competition when the American Studies class had an obvious alliance.
The competition started when Julian Warner challenged Damian Bausher to a question in the pop culture across the decades category. The categories included everything the students had learned since the beginning of the year including, the turn of the century, World War I, The Roaring 20s, name that historical figure etc. Mr. Kline read the first question, “name the town in which the Wright Brothers took their first flight.” Both Damian and Julian were unable to answer this question, so Jordan Youndt was able to steal with his answer “Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.”
This meant that both Julian and Damian received a point. The first person to receive five points would be disqualified. The first person to be disqualified was Cassandra Edmunds, the lone female of the competition. Even though she obviously knew her history, she could not withstand the constant bombardment of her male competitors. Dustin Snyder was the second person to be disqualified leaving all of the Honors American Studies competitors with Damian Bausher. While the American Studies students continued to only challenge Damian instead of eachother, he stood strong, answering every question with ease. He was able to knock out Dakota Kolbe and then Jordan Youndt shortly after.
It was down to Damian Bausher and Julian Warner. The crowd was on the edge of their seats. Julian Warner was able to tie the score with a very impressive answer to the question, “give the years for the start and finish of the Spanish American War.” The answer was 1898 – 1898 (the war was not even one year long). The next correct answer would win the championship. The question asked which WWII battle popularized the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Damian was quick to the buzzer, and answered with “the Battle of the Bulge”. He was correct. The crowd went wild with excitement.
A brief awards ceremony followed where Gary Brown, last year’s champion, gave the winning American History Championship belt to Damian. The experience was a great one for everyone involved and the students are definitely looking forward to crowning next year’s champion.