'Cats head to Knowledge Bowl
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:55 PM
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
"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
"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."