The Redwood Valley Middle School Knowledge Bowl team saw growth in its second year under coach Jane Sanchez.

According to Sanchez, one year ago RVMS had one team, and this year there were enough participants to have two teams compete during the year.

The junior-high knowledge bowl program is open to students in Grades 6-9, with schools competing in invitationals and meets starting in December and teams then competing in sub-regional competitions in early January.

This year’s RVMS team included Wyatt Smith, Jeneth Beske, Rachel Anderson, Conner Salmon, Thomas Gerke, Aidan Salmon, Landyn Nordby, Aubree Keehl, Cayden Johnson-Mariner, Lily DeBlieck, Andrew Willemssen and Cameron Seaman.

According to this year’s team, the 2018-19 season went pretty well, and the two teams learned a lot and were competitive. Both teams from RVMS took part in the Region 8 Sub-Region Knowledge Bowl contest, which was held Jan. 7 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. 

One of the teams placed 25th, and the second team placed 46th our of 56 teams. The higher placing team from RVMS qualified to compete in the Region contest, which was held Jan. 10 at SMSU. That team placed 44th out of 45 teams.

According to Sanchez, the RVMS second team was comprised of sixth graders, and even the more experienced team went up against older teams at the Region meet made up primarily of freshman.

Each team member brings a different interest and area of expertise to knowledge bowl. Some may enjoy history, while others excel in literature. There are students who are good at math, and some to have more of a general knowledge of a variety of areas.

At times, there are questions that surprise team members.

As an example, Rachel Anderson, who is a freshman, said at the Regional contest there was a question about Pig Latin.

“I had no idea what that was,” she said.

Sanchez is hoping even more students get involved next season, adding the first year of competition involves a lot of learning about how the program works and what it means to compete.

The area junior-high knowledge bowl program is coordinated by the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative in Marshall.