A “three-peat” is often considered the crown jewel in team achievement: To win a state title three years in a row takes accomplishment to a whole new level.It’s the exact feeling the Camas High School Knowledge Bowl Team had when they realized they’d won the state tournament again.
“It was really exciting,” said Marcus Bintz, team captain. “State was a really good opportunity for us to showcase our strengths well. We’re very happy.”
Knowledge Bowl is a competition which quizzes students on topics relevant to their education.
“Basically, it’s everything you ever learned in school if you never forgot anything,” said team member Griffin King. “It’s all related to school topics.”
Knowledge Bowl competitions include both written and oral questions. The written round is a multiple-choice exam taken by each team as a whole. Results of this round are used for seeding teams in the oral rounds. In the oral rounds, there are three teams per room. A team member may buzz in as soon as he or she chooses. If they miss a question, no points are deducted, but the other teams then may try to answer the question based on who buzzed in first. The winner is the team with the greatest number of points at the end of the meet.
At state, there were four preliminary rounds for nine semi-final spots. After the semi-final round was over, three teams went to the final. These were CHS, Charles Wright Academy and Interlake High School.
The Papermakers had edged out Charles Wright the past two years at the state championship and were looking to do it again.
“Charles Wright is traditionally a really strong school,” Coach Dale Croswell said. “But my kids jumped off to a quick lead, so Charles Wright was chasing us the whole time. We never trailed.”
Croswell has been coaching Knowledge Bowl for 25 years, but this is the first time he’s had a team win state three years running.
“I’m very proud of these kids,” he said. “None of them have state competition experience. I really think they found themselves at this meet. It’s always a fun ride.”
Croswell credits the success of his teams to the popularity of Knowledge Bowl, a good science and technology magnet program at the high school, and successful middle school teams.
“This year we had four varsity and five junior varsity teams here,” he said. “As far as state goes, I let the kids decide who is going to be teamed up to go.”
This year, the team was made up of all juniors. They are King, Bintz, Vaughn Okerlund, Evan Roche, Tim Grote and Noah Wachlin.
“I like the fast pace of the competition, it’s really intense,” Okerlund said. “You have to mentally sift through thousands of pieces of information to get to what you need.”
Next year, Camas High will move from 3A to 4A competition.
“It will be interesting to see how well we can compete at that level,” Croswell said. “Who knows? Maybe we will bring home one of the first 4A state championships to Camas High.”