Knowledge Bowl prepares for State


Karen Hegg

Jason Sellers (12), Connor O’Brien (12), Atticus Baker (12), Jaxen Sellers (12), Quinn Corey (10), Bradyn Dowling (10), and Dylan McVerry-Reese (10) pose with the first place trophy for division 3A.

Morgan Flannery, Junior Reporter

The Knowledge Bowl team at Manitou Springs High School competed at a regional competition at Liberty High School on Saturday, January 29, 2022. They took third place overall and first place in the 3A division, qualifying them for the state competition.

The regional competition included schools of all sizes, ranging from Pine Creek High School (Division 5A) to Hanover High School (Division 1A). The other 3A schools there were Woodland Park and Vanguard.

The members at this competition were Connor O’Brien (12), Atticus Baker (12), Jason Sellers (12), Jaxen Sellers (12), Quinn Corey (10), and Bradyn Dowling (10). 

Julie Gardner is the coach of the knowledge bowl team and values each individual member. “Well, Connor O’Brien scored the most points, but they are all valuable in the sense that they all have a specialty, like in math or literature,” Gardner said. 

Gardner has been coaching Knowledge Bowl for approximately 15 collective years. Recently, she has been seen holding the trophy in the hall for students to see during passing periods. The state competition will be held on March 14 and 15.  

Dowling, one of the two sophomores at the competition, said, “I love Knowledge Bowl because it’s a group of friends doing it and we get to flex our knowledge.” 

COVID-19 has affected the upcoming state competition by making it virtual, instead of the usual spot at the CSU campus in Fort Collins. “I hate that the competition is virtual because it means we can’t truly enjoy being there,” said Dowling. 

Concerns for a virtual competition are spread out among the team members, mainly about cheating. “What I don’t like is that people are on their honor to not cheat. Kids could be in their own homes meaning their coach is not with them,” said Gardner. The faults to a virtual competition also include slower internet connections which could affect the team that answers first. 

O’Brien feels like a virtual competition might not be as fun, but he is keeping a positive attitude. “Frankly, I’m greatly displeased with our state meet being virtual. There’s a lot of factors out of our control like internet issues and more, and the sense of friendly competition between teams is really diminished, but I’m thankful to have it at all,” said O’Brien. Seniors on the Knowledge Bowl team especially feel the effects of COVID on school events, as their last competition still isn’t like usual. 

Although the upcoming virtual competition is less than ideal, the positives outweigh the negatives for many Knowledge Bowl members. O’Brien said, “My favorite part of Knowledge Bowl is probably the rush you get when you answer a question correctly, a little bit of adrenaline, congratulations from teammates and stares from enemies makes the perfect recipe.”