Scholars Bowl returns to state

WHS scholars bowl does a buzzer check in the finals round against Northern Heights. The Chargers dropped the match 40-50, finishing second and qualifying to state for the second straight year.

WHS finishes second to Northern Heights

Wabaunsee scholars bowl finished second at the regional tournament, qualifying to state for the second consecutive year.

Seniors Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Jarett Bolinder, Sean Dugger, and Dillon Spellman placed second after 13 rounds in the regional tournament that took place at WHS. Alderman lead the team by scoring 360 points with Spellman scoring 100 points and Barber not far behind with 90 points.

“We’ve been competitive at every meet this year, so I knew we were an experienced team with a chance to have a lot of success,” scholars bowl coach Brendan Praeger said.

The format of the tournament separated 16 attending teams into two pools of eight teams each. After playing a round against all teams in their respective pool, the top three continued on towards the championship rounds.

Pool play began poorly with the first match against Kansas City Christian. The team was filled with nerves, competing at home with familiar spectators, judges and moderators. Faced with a difficult selection of questions, the team was destroyed, 80-20 to begin the tournament.

“It was a sketchy way to start the tournament, but we knew it was far from the end,” Spellman said.

The team rebounded to win its next five rounds against Horton, McClouth, Mission Valley, Rossville and Valley Heights. The Chargers dropped the final round of pool play 40-50 against Jefferson County North, ending 5-2 and resusulting in a tie between Jefferson County North, Mission Valley and Wabaunsee.

“Pool play ending in a three-way tie for second made us very nervous heading into the championships,” Alderman said. “Learning that we would have to compete against three private schools did not help with the nerves.”

Tie-breaker rules landed the Wabaunsee team on top of the tie giving them second place in the pool. The six teams in the championship rounds would compete in a round-robin with the top three qualifying for a trip to state. The first three rounds took away the nerves as they resulted in a victory over three private schools. The fourth round was against Northern Heights, with both teams entering the match undefeated.

“Northern Heights was 6-1 in pool play, and they had done well at other meets this year. I had the feeling it would end up being the championship match,” coach Praeger said.

A close 10-point match allowed Northern Heights to take sole possession of first place.

“There were a few questions where we were simply beat to the buzzer,” Praeger said.

IMG_1396With only one loss, a state trip was almost guaranteed, but one last match against Mission Valley would confirm it. Having beat the opposing team before in pool play, the team was confident a victory was in sight.

With only a 5-point lead going in the final question, the year-in review category, the match was intense. Alderman sealed the victory with a buzzer race to answer a question about Rosie the Riveter.

“As soon as I hit the buzzer, I heard the other team sigh and it made me nervous, but I was glad I didn’t mess up,” Alderman said.

The Chargers placed fourth at last year’s state tournament, and look to bring home a bigger trophy this year.

The state tournament begins at noon Saturday at Inman High School. Follow their progress on the Charger Twitter page.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

The Charger launches website, podcast to enhance student publications

Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Dillon Spellman and Abby Oliver record an episode of the Senioritis podcast October 15.

Charger to continue publishing print edition along with online content

Laurel Barber, @lawl_e_20

Charger readers no longer have to wait a full week for a dose of WHS news.

In addition to printing each week in the Wabaunsee Signal-Enterprise, the Charger has launched a website,, to bring more stories to students and community members in a timely manner.

The Charger staff hopes to use the site to update people multiple times a week, as well as to reach many new readers who do not get the paper print.

Adviser Brendan Praeger said he hopes it will change the way students approach reporting. “I’m training students to be journalists, and spending weeks on a print story is no longer the norm for professionals,” Praeger said. “Our goal is to make more timely content to start, but eventually we’ll be able to produce stories in new formats.”

The Charger is also branching out into new formats with the launch of the Senioritis Podcast.

The podcast was started by four seniors: Luke Barber, Maddie Alderman, Dillon Spellman and Charger editor Abby Oliver. Each week they plan to discuss school and community news as well as some random topics. “Our main goal is to make people laugh and have fun, as well as get information across,” Oliver and Barber said.

Praeger said the students are learning every step of podcast production on their own. “We purchased microphones, but they had to figure out how to do things on their own. I think listeners will see an increase in sound quality as the year goes on,” Praeger said. Producer Dillon Spellman edits each episode in Garage Band before posting it to the website. The students also created art for the podcast and fulfilled other criteria to get the podcast on the iTunes store.

Episode 0, which was the student’s first attempt at recording, hit the web October 4 and was played to more than 300 times.

Praeger said he views the podcast as an extension of the Charger, which is also produced by students. Oliver is the editor of the Charger this year, and the other students are all former staff members. “I am advising them to make sure they avoid any legal or ethical problems, but they are doing all of the creative work themselves. It’s great to see them take initiative and get excited about sharing their work.”

Read the Charger at and check out the Senioritis podcast on iTunes. Updates will also be posted by @whscharger on Twitter.

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