'Cats head to Knowledge Bowl

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SNOQUALMIE — If knowledge is power then this group of Mount

Si High Wildcats should be able to conquer the world — well, at least

other high school students at this year's state Knowledge Bowl competition

on March 25.

Team Captain Craig Campbell will lead Joe Christian, Jason

Leatiota, Ryan Emmerson, Sean Trettel and Shawn Kelley against other

3A schools from across the state in the written and oral Jeopardy-like

competitions. The group beat out several other schools at the regional

tournament earlier this month to secure one of the top spots at this year's bowl.

"I'm really excited because it's been six years since we've gone

to state," said Advisor Gene Clegg, who started the program at Mount Si

High 15 years ago.

"We were the only team who yelled, `Yeah!'" Leatiota added.

"Everyone was looking at us."

Previous Mount Si teams have placed 14th, 12th and fourth, so if

history is any indication, this year's group has a good chance of making it in

the top three — especially if they're quizzed on science.

"We have a good science department and a lot of the questions

are science oriented," Campbell said. "With the science ones we go

bam, bam, bam!"

But sometimes the questions can stump the students, especially if

it's in a subject they have little information about, such as music.

"The team has weaknesses when no one in the team can cover a

particular area," Clegg said. "One

person can't know everything from ancient Greece to mathematics."

"I don't teach them; they either know it or they don't," he added.

Being a winner at Knowledge Bowl doesn't only involve what

you know; it's also a challenge of what you think you know about the

perceived question.

"A lot of it is luck," Campbell said.

For example, if the judge asked, "Martin Luther King Jr. was the

leader who…" and a team answered "led

the Civil Rights Movement" they could be wrong. That's because the judge

might have really wanted to know "Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader

who was killed in what city?"

But that's the risk the team must take to have a chance at being the

top competitor.

"As a coach you need to convince the student that it's not incorrect to

fail; it's incorrect to hold back," Clegg

said. "We have to learn to fail to succeed."

"It's like what real life is about. We need to do things with insufficient

information," he added.

"They're going to do well."

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