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Arlington hosts state Knowledge Bowl


March 21, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School Knowledge Bowl team members Danilo Carrasco, left, Jack Hamilton, center, and captain Wyatt Kerschner discuss a potential answer at the state Knowledge Bowl competition on March 17.

Teams from around Washington came to Arlington High School to compete in the state Knowledge Bowl competition on March 17.

Knowledge Bowl is a competition where teams of up to six students face other schools in a knowledge competition.

Arlington's team was knocked out in the preliminary rounds, but they were happy to make it to the state tournament.

"I think we did really well for our team," said Arlington High School's Knowledge Bowl team member Joe Kephart.

The team didn't make it as far as they did last year though.

They finished among the top 15 teams in the state this year and finished fourth the previous year, although part of that was that they had four seniors last year and a younger team this year.

"So our team was quite new. I was really excited that they made it here to state," said Ben Mendro, Arlington High School teacher and Knowledge Bowl team coach. "They're a top 15 in state, so that's a great accomplishment for them."

Many students enjoy participating regardless of where they finish.

"The kids get a lot out of this, it's a ton of fun," said Mendro.

"For the kids who are really smart and like to know a lot of stuff and like to show that off, this is where they can do that," he said.

It's also a good way to encourage yourself to read about different subjects, said Arlington Knowledge Bowl team member Johnathon Leon Guerrero.

"It's a great way to learn new things," he said. "It's a great avenue to expand what you do know."

The questions for the competition can get pretty specific.

"It's surprising to think about the things you don't know, like the most obscure questions you've been asked," said Kephart.

"Some of the questions you wonder who had to know that to really put a question together," he said.

The questions also range between a number of subjects, including math, history, politics and literature.

"It's really hard to study for because they can ask you about anything, and we just do practice every Monday," said Cole Hahn, a member of Arlington's Knowledge Bowl team.

That often requires the team split the study material as well.

"It's hard to focus on every single subject. You just have to specialize in one, and then as a team you can answer all of them," said Jack Hamilton, a member of Arlington's Knowledge Bowl team.

Mendro said he also enjoys helping coach the team.

"I love getting together with the kids on Monday and asking them questions and getting impressed with what they know," he said.

"Sometimes I jump in and compete against them. I've always loved Jeopardy and trivia and those kinds of things, so its a huge hobby of mine," he said.

This is the sixth year the state tournament has been held at Arlington High School.

"I was just nice and said we would be willing to do it five years ago and it went okay," said Mendro.

The lunch also serves as a fundraiser for the school's wrestling team as well.

"I want to give a lot of appreciation to my colleague [Arlington School District teacher] Chad Duskin who also helps me do this and helps figure this all out," said Mendro.

Kephart wanted to thank his coach as well.

"Of course we couldn't do it without herr Mendro [Ben Mendro teaches German at the school]," he said.


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