The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

WHS Knowledge Bowl team headed to state


February 26, 2015

Diana Zimmerman

Wahkiakum High School's Knowledge Bowl team finished second at district on Monday and heads to the state tournament next month. L-r are Connor Emlen-Petterson, Ian Turner, Elliott Haney, Kara Haney, Katie Stacey and coach Audrey Petterson.

The Wahkiakum High School Knowledge Bowl team is going to the Knowledge Bowl state tournament March 14 in Arlington after taking second place at the regional tournament at Lower Columbia College on Monday.

Hundreds of students from several schools around southwest Washington were at the regional tournament on Monday. Forty-five teams were divided into five classes. The Mules faced eight teams. Some were 2B, but there was one 4A school and a 1A school in their division.

After a written round and the first oral round, the Mules found themselves tied with a Seton Catholic team for first place, with Columbia Adventist Academy following close behind. After the second oral and a championship round, Columbia Adventist Academy moved into first place, with the Mules in second place. Only two teams from their division would go to state.

The Mule Knowledge Bowl team is made up of one senior, Elliott Haney; two juniors, Connor Emlen-Petterson and Ian Turner; and two freshmen, Katie Stacey and Kara Haney.

The two Haneys and Katie Stacey are homeschooled.

"I joined mostly for the fun, but for college applications too," Elliott Haney said. "I started sophomore year and enjoyed it enough to turn out the next two years."

Haney plays for the golf team in the spring and likes to play chess.

"Originally my mom wanted me to try out," Turner said. "I stuck with it because it was fun. I love getting questions right, especially the ones involving obscure knowledge."

Turner plays the drum and the piano in his spare time.

Stacey likes to read and write, and has even entered a few writing competitions. She also plays the piano and occasionally does some woodworking.

Moms must like this kind of competition, because Kara Haney's mom is the reason she turned out this year.

"My mom told me I had to," she laughed. "I'll probably do it next year."

Kara Haney plays the piano and the violin and loves to draw and do digital art.

And Emlen-Petterson? His mom, Audrey, is the high school English teacher and the team's coach.

Each has their own special interest to bring to the team's pot of knowledge including history, math, literature, geography, music, and the obscure.

Just to be clear, this isn't Jeopardy. This is Jeopardy on steroids. Students between the ages of 14-18 who know the names of all the presidents of Panama; can find an adjunct in a sentence; solve for X; and know a bit about political science and economics will be right at home.

The five admit that they are frequently stumped by questions. In the championship round, they finished in second place with 10 correct answers out of 50. The winning team did not get too many more of them right.

The Wahkiakum High School Knowledge Bowl team will travel to Arlington to compete in the state tournament on March 14.


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