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Crusaders conquer Knowledge Bowl,
prepare for Quiz Bowl

January 2024

“The first round was a written competition of 30 excruciatingly difficult multiple choice questions,” said Ryan Nees, head coach of the Coon Rapids-Bayard Knowledge Bowl team. “The following eight rounds saw the Crusaders competing against two other teams in a tournament-style bracket. Each round contained 21 questions with which students would ‘buzz in’ before other teams to answer.”


Back on Oct. 19, a team of juniors qualified for the state tournament of the Iowa Knowledge Bowl at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) campus in Ankeny. Lucas Obert, Violet Johnson, Macy Thompson, Parker Hays, and Coleman Heiderscheit represented CR-B. To advance to the state tournament, students had to pass a qualifying test. Another group of CR-B students, including Trevor McNelly, Mason Culbertson, Sam Larsen, Nolan Wurzer, and Clay Yager, also took the qualifying test but did not advance to state.


“We prepared for this with many different practice runs,” Hays said. “We found a website to help us with questions and found it very useful. I learned that I need to be confident with my knowledge and to not doubt myself.”


“I learned from this experience that it is good to try new, unexpected things,” Johnson said. “I never would have thought to join Knowledge Bowl, but I am glad I did. I think it is an enjoyable experience, and I never would have gotten the chance to participate if I didn’t try it.”


“We have a great set of students from CR-B who care about academics and want to excel at school,” said Connie Ankenbauer, a secondary teacher who helped prepare students for competition. “This will become the start of a great foundation in our school. In the future, we hope to start a middle school team and compete in more contests.”


Nees is now preparing students for another form of academic contest called Quiz Bowl to continue to give those with and without athletic involvement an opportunity to be represented for their accomplishments. Students will now participate in the Iowa Quiz Bowl Winter Open on March 2, with championships taking place on March 30 to determine who will advance to nationals.

*Front page group photo by Natural Expression Photography

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