MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Marshall County middle schoolers don’t just do their social studies homework—their knowledge of West Virginia’s past is extracurricular.

And once again, they have a History Bowl to prove it.

It’s one small, shiny bowl…reflecting years worth of ambition, studying, and the perseverance of 8th graders ready to make a splash in their adult lives.

Sherrard Middle History Bowl Team 1 once again faced off against their peers on Mountain State history…and once again brought back a title.

This is the sixth win for Coach Dan Gatts, who made sure three-times-a-week study sessions weren’t wasted.

“We actually started with this group two years ago during COVID…I asked a couple of them as 6th graders ‘hey, how about you show up to these meetings, we’ll start practicing now to get ready.'”

Dan Gatts, Social Studies teacher, Team Coach

And through that work, Sherrard bested other county schools, the entire Northern Panhandle and 23 other state teams.

Gatts divided up study questions into four categories, allowing each of Team 1’s four members to take on the subject they like best.

But what’s history to them may not seem so long ago to many of us.

“I like the early 2000s, because that’s when a lot of interesting things in pop culture were happening in West Virginia, like a lot of songs were being written and stuff like that.”

Allison McGraw, History Bowl Champion

The nightly quizzing from staff, parents and other students wasn’t just about proving they’re the best.

Some of them are planning for careers where their knowledge of where we’ve been will help them guide society to where it should be.

“Mr. Gatts has a sign hanging over his door that says ‘Those who don’t learn about their past are bound to repeat it,’ so it’s a really good thing to learn about your past and know what happened.”

Ella Finley, History Bowl Champion

Which is not just an informed way to go through life…it’s the best position to be in when you have to hit the buzzer.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Sherrard complemented their silver bowl with Golden Horseshoes.

Four eighth graders, including Bowl winner Allison McGraw, received top test scores on subjects like state government, geography and current events.