UNCP runs away with its first state crown in Geography Bowl


UNC Pembroke’s Geography Bowl team traveled to Greensboro to compete in the annual competition, and for the first time came home with the championship trophy.


Standing from left: Dr. Tom Ross, Joseph Waring, William Cornett, Francis Bayog, Tiffany Motsinger and Steven Barbour. Kneeling from left: Zoe Robinson and Roger Campbell.

The team consisted of Steven Barbour, a graduate student from Fayetteville, N.C.; Francis Bayog, a freshman from Durham, N.C.; Roger Campbell, junior from Rockingham, N.C; William Cornett, freshman from Fayetteville, N.C.; Tiffany Motsinger, freshman from Wallburg, N.C.; Zoe Robinson, freshman from Jacksonville, N.C.; and Joseph Waring, a junior from Wadesboro, N.C.

Team coach for the 26th year was Dr. Tom Ross. Geography Department faculty accompanying the team to Greensboro included Dr. Martin Farley, who served as a moderator for the competition, Dr. Dennis Edgell, who judged the event, and Prof. Kay Ehrlich.

The competition was intense and the matches tight, Dr. Ross said.
UNCP drew Appalachian State University for its first match. At the end of the match, the score was tied, but UNCP’s Steven Barbour answered a sudden death question for Pembroke’s 50–40 victory. 

In the second match with N.C. Central University, the score was tied at the end of regulation time. This time it was Zoe Robinson who came through with the answer in sudden death, giving UNCP the win, 85–75. 

The third match was also a close one, with UNCP defeating East Carolina University 30-20.

The next match with UNC Greensboro was a breather as UNCP coasted to a 90–15 victory. In a match with last year’s champion, UNC-Charlotte, UNCP lost 30–75.  Both Pembroke and Charlotte had identical records played for the championship. Pembroke won easily.

UNCP’s Steven Barbour, a graduate social studies education student, was selected to the all-state team and will compete with other North Carolina students at the southeastern regional competition in Morgantown, W.Va., in late November. Barbour ended with the third highest average points per match.

Barbour is a graduate student earning a degree in social studies education. He is an Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher and coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Program at Southview High School.

“I enjoy geography very much,” Barbour said. “I did real well on the Africa questions because I studied in South Africa.”

Barbour said the competition was strong, and they left happy, especially for one of their coaches.

“We were all very happy for Dr. Ross because he has being doing Geography Bowl for quite a while,” he said. “We were happy to win it for him.”

The trophy will be on exhibit at the Geography Department in Room 213 of Old Main until next year’s competition.