“PresentingDillard University!” These were the first words heard by the Dillard University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge quiz bowl team as they embarked on one of the most exciting adventures of their lives in Orlando, Fla. during the week of March 31- April 4.
The 2005 Dillard team consisted of captain, Marcus Harris, and team members Megan Perry, Brandon Byes, Joshua Lazard and Rance Johnson. They had been practicing since January after competing in the campus tournament that established the 5-member team. They read newspapers, magazines, watched the news and studied everything from history and religion to sports.
At Honda Campus they joined the Ira Aldridge division to compete against Lincoln University-Missouri, Alabama A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Elizabeth City State, Mississippi Valley State, Sojourner-Douglass College and defending HCASC champion, Morehouse College.
Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is an annual quiz bowl sponsored by the Honda Motor Company that began in 1989. Members of the company approached the College Bowl Company in an effort to create a quiz bowl open to the 89 HBCUs that grant 4-year degrees. It has continued to grow over the years and last year HCASC celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Each year schools, establish teams and get in all registration materials in order to be apart of the Strong 64. These 64 teams travel to Florida to compete against seven other teams in round robin divisional play. The divisions are named for historically relevant blacks and each year two new people are added as two others are retired.
This year Ira Aldridge replaced Phyllis Wheatley and Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable replaced Benjamin Banneker. After the completion of round robin play, the Dillard team went 3-4, falling to Morehouse, Elizabeth City, Lincoln University-Missouri, and Prairie View A&M. Dillard never gave up, giving quite a fight to Morehouse ending the first half tied 95-95, but Morehouse came back to win it 235-195.
“I think the Dillard University team, while we had a slow start, showed the potential we have to one day capture the title,” said Dr. Sylvia Carey, the team’s coach. “I don’t think that there was one team that was so much better than us and more importantly we held our own especially against a reigning champion, Morehouse. I am excited about the intellectual capital we have on our campus and I hope that all students will come out and participate in the Honda campus tournament this fall.”
When the teams arrived on Thursday they are offered a room full of food, games and televisions to occupy their time when they are not playing followed by an elaborate opening ceremony to kick off the year’s competition. This year’s opening ceremony’s keynote speaker was Andrew Young, and he challenged students to recognize the need to form global ties and relationships.
Round robin games took place on Friday and Saturday, with playoff games rounding out the day on Saturday and the semi-final and final games on Sunday morning. HCASC nights were filled with activities such as karaoke, HCASC Idol and pool parties in order for the various teams to meet each other. After final games on Sunday teams were invited to go to Universal Studios or Epcot Center for tours in order to do some sight-seeing before the closing cremonies later that night.