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Battle of the Books Places Third

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Battle of the Books Places Third

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On April 11th, the 13th Annual Loudoun County Battle of the Books Competition took place at Briar Woods High School. Six teams throughout Loudoun County competed in the final, with Freedom High School taking home first place and the golden book award, followed by Loudoun Valley High School in second, and Dominion High School taking home bronze in 3rd place.

The Dominion High School Battle of the Books team also won the Eastern Loudoun County semifinals the same day and continued their streak to place 3rd in the finals. This is one of Dominion’s best ever finishes in this competition.

Battle of the Books is a club at Dominion and throughout Loudoun County where students read ten books throughout the school year and compete in competitions in April where they answer trivia about the books.

Battle of the Books is actually a nationwide organization but Loudoun County changes it to best fit the County’s needs. Sally Carlo, the reading specialist at Dominion and the club’s sponsor, said  “The reading specialists select the ten books each year that the students are going to read and then the students are given the books starting in the spring of the year before.”

For Loudoun County there are three divisions: Eastern, Central, and Western. The teams that go to the final competition are the top two teams from each division. Due to snow days during the original date for semifinals, the Eastern and Western Division completed their semifinals in a shortened “lightning round” format the same day as the finals.

The Dominion team had a very successful semi-final performance. They competed against two other teams, Potomac Falls High School and Stone Bridge High School for the Regional Championship title. They did so well in fact that Carlo said, “We didn’t get one [question] wrong in the semi’s.”

Dominion did not have very high expectations coming into the competition. Carlo said, “I thought we were going to do horrible, it’s a small group [and] we lost a lot of juniors and seniors, but they rocked it.” The team is made up of seven students who are all sophomores or freshmen.

Dominion even had their doubts about getting past the first round. Taylor Fischer, who is the team captain, said, “I didn’t know how prepared we were going to be and we were a lot more prepared than I thought we were.” The whole team seemed to share this view, Charlotte Madden, who is a co-captain, said, “I thought that we were going to do much worse than we did.”

Due to their successful Regional Championship win the team had a lot of confidence going into the finals. Fischer said, “It was really confidence boosting to have this judge from the lightning round come up to us. She was like, you guys are the best team that I have ever seen before, but because we worked really well as a team.” Faith Shote also expressed her confidence going into the finals, said, “Dr. Brewer was like congratulations, Regional Champions! And we were like, oh, we are Regional Champions, I forgot. Thanks!”

After finishing in third in the finals out of six teams, Dominion celebrated their success by preparing how to win finals the next season. Shote said, “We were having a meeting about how we could have done better, and yes we should have celebrated, but it was like our sort of celebration.”

This Battle of the Books team has a lot of confidence going into the next season and have already made it their goal to win the finals next season. “People are going to do work over the summer, we are going to get together and have writing sessions about questions and such and definitely next year we will be champions of the county!” Shote said.

While the Dominion team is very optimistic about the upcoming seasons, Sally Carlo, one of the teams sponsors and Dominion’s reading specialist, has some concerns. Carlo said, “The battle is in jeopardy because a lot of the people who started the battle are getting ready to retire and I’m afraid that the new reading specialists wouldn’t continue it.” Carlo is one of the original reading specialists who began the Battle of the Books competition in Loudoun County.

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Battle of the Books Places Third