‘Quick study’ helps Scholars Bowler

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JANET HAMOUS
When you talk to Michael Unruh, the words “quick study” come to mind.

This Peabody-Burns High School junior seems to be one of those people who just soaks up information and can then retrieve it at will.

That ability serves him well in the Scholar’s Bowl.

“He answers 90 percent of the questions we get asked,” said Scholars Bowl sponsor Ann Leppke.

Unruh is nonchalant about his success. “I just know a lot of the questions they ask, or other ones are too shy to buzz in,” he said with a shrug.

Unruh has been involved with the Scholars Bowl since junior high. His older brother, Philip, also participates in Scholars Bowl.

So did they grow up playing quiz games as a family?

“No,” Unruh said. “I just remember stuff pretty well.”

His success may be partly due to being a well rounded student. In addition to Scholars Bowl, Unruh participates in football, basketball, track, forensics, FFA, Business Professionals of America, National Honor Society, band and vocal music.

“Pretty much everything,” he said.

Unruh’s best areas are science and math, he said. He usually does well with the foreign language questions too. Those questions are asked in Spanish, French and German.

“I took German,” he said.

“It depends on the kind of questions they ask. I’m not too good with literature.”

Unruh said the Scholars Bowl team usually practices once a week. Members get the buzzers out and run through questions as if they were in a real meet.

“Our coach has questions she gets from past meets,” he said.

Whether it’s a practice or a real meet, it’s all the same to him. Unruh said he doesn’t get nervous before meets.

“I may look over some questions before a meet, but I don’t do anything in particular to prepare,” he said.

Unruh sees the Scholar’s Bowl as a way to review and reinforce his learning in a variety of areas.

“Stuff they ask from past classes helps me remember what I learned,” he said.

He doesn’t know yet what he wants to do after high school other than “something with science.”

In the meantime, he has another year of high school to keep continue learning and “buzzing in” for the Peabody-Burns team.

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