By Tim Linscott
Question: Who is the 2014 ESU 16 district Quiz Bowl champion?
Answer: Perkins County High School.
The Plainsmen captured the title April 15 at Sutherland. Thirteen schools competed in a bracket-style, double elimination tournament.
Other teams participating were: Arthur, Brady, Hershey, Hyannis, Mullen, North Platte St. Patrick’s, Ogallala, Paxton, Stapleton, Sutherland, Thedford and Wallace.
PCHS went 5-0 on the day and backed up their SPVA district title with a trip to the state Quiz Bowl All-Class tournament in Holdrege on April 30.
In the first match, PCHS defeated Hyannis, 55-30 and then blanked Mullen 35-0.
Wallace then fell to the Plainsmen 15-5 before a double overtime win over Paxton, 25-20.
North Platte St. Patrick’s was then dispatched 15-5. St. Patrick’s finished second and Paxton third overall.
PCHS Quiz Bowl coach Deanne Bishop is proud of the accomplishments of the team. This is the second straight conference title and the Quiz Bowl team has qualified three times for state in its nine year existence.
Bishop has been the Quiz Bowl sponsor all nine years. This year’s squad a blend unlike any other in PCHS history.
“This year’s team has a unique blend of study-smarts and random trivia knowledge,” Bishop said. “During matches, I often recognize the questions they should be able to answer based on their school studies, but I’ve been impressed by the number of questions they’ve answered by watching the news, turning into popular culture and by reading random publications on their own.”
Bishop added, “This balance has made them tough to beat.”
The state tournament pits schools from all sizes against each other, with a field of 36 schools competing. In 2008 PCHS finished third in the state, behind Bellevue West and Columbus.
Many Class A and B schools treat Quiz Bowl as a year-around event and compete at dozens of meets per year. Those teams have members specializing in certain content areas.
At PCHS, however, the season starts in December. The Plainsmen compete in five to six meets per season.
“While our kids don’t necessarily study-up and train in certain areas, we definitely have members we defer to, knowing their ‘guess’ will probably be better than other members’ guesses in certain subjects, like math, geography, anatomy,” Bishop said.
PCHS Quiz Bowl students train by knowing the rules of play.
“Many people are surprised to learn there is quite a bit of strategy while competing in a round,” Bishop said. “Knowing the rules of play inside-and-out allows our team to take full advantage of opportunities to have questions re-read, play ‘defense’ on the tough-to-answer questions and notify other team members when they want to defer a guess to other members.”
Contributing to the strategic mentality of the team are the seniors this year at PCHS.
“We have a number of seniors who have participated in Quiz Bowl for multiple years. They have done a good job of explaining the rules and strategies to younger members, making it something ‘cool’ that underclassmen want to join,” Bishop said.
PC Quiz Bowl team members include Allison Kiolbasa, Brady Mailand (captain), Hailey Sletten, Dylan Malmkar, Zak Kurkowski, Kaleb Gaar, Samantha Snogren, Shane Ourada, Amanda Reichert and Sam Rowley.