Knowledge Bowl Team Advances to State Competition

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Reporter

Following Manitou’s high-achieving sports teams, such as swimming and wrestling, the high school’s Knowledge Bowl team is also on their way to state. State is on March 14th and 15th, at Colorado State University in Pueblo. The team is going up together on Sunday and staying at a hotel for both days. The students are taking time out of their finals week to compete.

There are two different parts of the competition. The written round consists of a packet of questions, 4-5 pages long. The team must fill out all of the answers within a certain amount of time. The oral rounds are when someone calls out the question and students buzz in. There will be one written round each day, five oral rounds the first day, and four the next. There will be only one of our teams competing state, and the other team will be alternates. The competing team will consist of Max Hexom (11), Cicada Scott (12), Molly Ardnt (9), and Cassidy Ardnt (11). The alternates are Agnes Navaratne (12), Gunnar Marquadt (9), and David Misyura (9).

The team’s coach, Mrs. Gardner, is very enthusiastic about the opportunity. When asked what she wants the team to achieve at State, she said, “I expect them to gain experience, see what it’s like, see how other teams manage the stress. It’s also a test in perseverance. It’s the first time that many of these kids have gone to state, so this should be a huge learning experience.”

I also had the chance to speak with Cicada Dawn (12), one of the team captains. They are a graduating senior, and have been on the team for three years. “[State is] Pretty exciting. I’ve been doing Knowledge Bowl since sophomore year, and I’ve just kind of been in the sidelines for the most part, but this year I’m one of the two people who’ve been here for a while. So I guess I ended up one of the team leaders, and so it’s just really exciting going to state with that.”

They practice every Wednesday during lunch in Mrs. Gardner’s room. There is also a captains practice on Thursdays, same time and place. It is a small club, consisting of only around ten people. Dawn says, “It’s really relaxed. A lot of people think that it’s intimidating showing up to practice, just because if you answer a question wrong, you’re going to get judged. I think people really need to understand it’s not like that at all. I mean, a lot of times, the more experienced players even will even throw out some answer that doesn’t make sense, and it’s just a complete guess. Usually they get it wrong, but every now and then they’ll get it right. If they get it wrong, then it’s no big deal, and we all laugh about how wrong it was, and if it was right, we get to laugh about that too.”

In preparation for State, they will be experimenting with several different practicing techniques. It is extremely difficult to train for competition, because the team never knows exactly what they will be asked. Everybody is very excited and thankful for the opportunity, and taking every chance to prepare.