Academic Bowl Photo

Mick Dowling, a DuBois Area Middle School student, answers a question during the 21st Annual Junior Academic Challenge at Penn State DuBois.

DuBOIS — Students from DuBois Central Catholic Middle School proved victorious in a battle that tested their knowledge of grammar, geography, math and other subjects Thursday night. For the first time in more than a decade, they took first place in the 21st Annual Junior Academic Challenge.

It’s the culmination, said DCC team adviser Renee Gressler, of time spent out of class and during lunch cramming for the competition.

“I’m just super, super proud of them,” she said.

Also competing in this year’s quiz bowl were students from the Brockway Area, Brookville Area, Clearfield Area, DuBois Area and St. Marys Area middle schools. The rules were simple: students were awarded 10 points for each question they correctly answered for their teams.

The competition was split up into four preliminary rounds, with the top four teams advancing to two final rounds.

DuBois Area middle schooler Mick Dowling put his school in an early lead, but DCC students ended up dominating the preliminaries. They finished the last preliminary round with 220 points.

DuBois was just behind them for most of the prelims, but was ultimately bumped out of second place by Brookville students who rocketed back in the last preliminary round. Brookville finished the prelims with 130 points to DuBois’ 120.

Brockway and Clearfield tied for fourth place in the last preliminary round with 90 points, meaning both advanced to the finals. St. Marys was knocked out of contention.

The teams’ point counts were wiped clean for the final rounds, which included questions on current events. Incorrect answers meant losing five points.

DuBois Area and DCC middle schools slugged it out during round one of the finals, each nudging the other out of first place. But DCC students Isaac Pifer and Neel Gupta finished round two strong, and their school won the competition with 90 points.

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