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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Undefeated with a love for knowledge

Jen Lowe
In focus. Scholastic Scrimmage members Logan Walter, Connor Matosziuk, Jacob Ceglar and Rosemary Wei get ready to hit the buzzer to answer. The team placed second in the championship on Nov. 1.

The Scholastic Scrimmage team finished their fall season with a 14-0 record. 

Scholastic Scrimmage is an extracurricular activity but also a competitive team. They meet weekly and play games like Trivia Crack and Jeopardy to test their knowledge. 

“We practice every week,” Scholastic Scrimmage adviser Jen Lowe said. “There is both a strategy with using buzzers as well as just building your knowledge base. A lot of the credit goes to the students because they pay attention in class, and they absorb the information because they have a high interest in whatever it is that is their particular niche. You don’t have to know something about everything, but we have a nice balance of team members. Some of them are strong in science and some in math. Some know a little bit about everything. You can have just one strength and that still benefits the team.” 

Seniors Jacob Ceglar and Connor Matoszuik have been doing Scholastic Scrimmage since junior high. They’ve had different experiences when it comes to team structure and competitions. 

“I originally joined the team in eighth grade, then continued onto the varsity team in ninth grade,” Ceglar said. “That year was very interesting because it was all virtual competitions. There were complex buzzer systems. We had to get used to the new websites and a lot of times the computers wouldn’t cooperate with us.” 

Lowe recalls the team going undefeated only two times within the last 10 years. 

“We are pretty excited, ” Lowe said. “We had the advantage of being a larger school, so we had an edge already. There are always a couple of schools that we treat as our arch rivals, as you’d expect Hollidaysburg and a couple of other schools that are performing well this year. It’s difficult to go undefeated because you might get a round of questions where they’re just not in your wheelhouse.” 

There is a key to success for these competitions though. Matoszuik finds that showing up is his way to ensure victory. 

“Over time, I’ve just become a little bit more calm about being up there at the table,” Matoszuik said. “Showing up to practice on Tuesdays also helps because the hardest part of a lot of the questions is just figuring out what it’s asking from the phrasing.” 

Some kids find enjoyment in sports. For Ceglar, this joy comes from putting his learning to use. 

“I’ve always loved trivia and learning all kinds of weird facts and applying the knowledge I know,” Ceglar said. “Most teenagers enjoy competing whether it’s the rush of victory or the anxiety and readiness of competing. This is what gives me a sense of competition.” 

Both Ceglar and Matoszuik have been competing for this team for all four years of high school. Throughout their four years, they recognize what categories they enjoy being able to compete in the most. 

“History is such a diverse topic, so that’s my favorite,” Ceglar said. “It’s just so interesting because you get a question that starts very broad, and as the clues get added on, it gets narrower and narrower. The last sentence is usually something that makes it very obvious.” 

“I enjoy mythology the most because that’s the area that I know I am good at. I can immediately have the answer like that and I don’t have to end up stumped on it,” Matoszuik said. 

The team went to the district championships on Nov. 1 where they faced off against some of the biggest rivals. They came out of the championships in second place. 

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About the Contributor
Megan Shultz
Megan Shultz, Associate Editor
My name is Megan Shultz, and I am an associate editor on the Mt. Echo staff. Ever since I was young I would spend my free time writing stories for my family. Now, entering my senior year, I still get excited to show them my work. When I'm not reading or writing, I love to dance and hangout with my friends. Once I graduate, I hope to attend Mount Aloysius for their sonography program. Until then, I'm looking forward to my senior year and the awesome memories I will make.

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