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West Sound Academy takes first place at Knowledge Bowl State Tournament

WSA Team - everyone with their hand on the trophy

West Sound Academy’s Knowledge Bowl team prevailed at the state tournament on March 11 and took first place in Division 1B. Congratulations go to the members of WSA’s team: Mia Lowell, ‘23, captain; Nadia Fisch, ‘24; Noah Holly, ‘24; Zia Magill, ‘24; Andrew Corbo, ‘25; and Lucy Schmitt, ‘25.

The trip for WSA to the state championship started at the regional competition at Fort Worden on February 16. One of WSA’s Knowledge Bowl six-person squads, WS1, qualified to go to State, along with another Division 1B team from Evergreen Lutheran High School. Then…a week off for Winter Break, leaving only three weeks to get ready for State! The other members of WSA’s team stepped up to help and came to practices twice a week, providing tough competition and good preparation for the state-bound squad. As the day approached for the trip to Wenatchee on March 10, team parents, my co-coach, Catherine Freeman, my husband Tandy (my driver), and I kept a careful watch on the pass reports. Would there really be 4 to 8 inches of snow on the passes, as the National Weather Service predicted? Would the State Knowledge Bowl Coordinator in Wenatchee delay or reschedule the Tournament?

Dinner at the Wenatchee Red Robin - March 10, 2023

The answer to both of those questions was “No.” The coach and parent caravan left for the Bainbridge ferry at 9:30 am on Friday, March 10, and had a long but trouble-free drive to Wenatchee.

After checking in at the hotel, everyone had some time to relax before having dinner at Red Robin – loud but fun.

Then back to the hotel for the pre-game Team Meeting.

On the evening of March 10th, the hotel was packed with many high school Knowledge Bowl teams competing in the Washington State Tournament XL, and elementary and middle students in town for the Vex IQ Robotics Competition. All the younger students were practicing with their robots in the lobby, so it was not a quiet place for the WSA team to meet to talk strategy and logistics. Plan B: all the team members and the parents (and one sibling) who came on the trip to State convened in the Trowers’ hotel room: a small space for fourteen people, but quiet! Next up: lights out at 10 pm.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies for all six divisions competing at Knowledge Bowl - March 11, 2023

The early birds on the team went down for the breakfast buffet by 6:15 am, and by 7:20 am, everyone was on the way over to Wenatchee High School. After some brief announcements from the tournament director and admiring glances at the display of 18 trophies for the State’s six divisions, the competition began with a written round of 50 multiple-choice questions. Then came four rounds of 50 oral questions each – WSA competing against two other Division 1B teams in each pre-set round.

Finally, at 12:30 pm, it was time for a 90-minute lunch break. While we waited for Tandy to bring the team’s Subway sandwich order back to the school, WSA went with a “why not have dessert first?” strategy – a combo of Oreos and Girl Scout cookies, complemented by plenty of salty snacks. After lunch, there was time to walk outside in the cold and/or try to take power naps at the Wenatchee High School lunch tables.

Waiting for the afternoon rounds to start - March 11, 2023
Andrew, Mia, Noah, and Nadia at the buzzer - March 11, 2023

West Sound Academy was in first place after the first five rounds, meaning they faced off against the sixth-place team from Wilbur-Creston in the semifinal. WSA was behind for much of that round but pulled ahead in the end to win 16 to 14 - earning them a place in the championship round for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies.

Evergreen Lutheran (our competition at regionals) and Naselle High School provided some stiff competition, but West Sound Academy came through with a decisive victory: 17 points to win, with 9 points for Evergreen Lutheran and 8 for Naselle.

"We won!" - The reader judge confirms the score with the timer - March 11, 2023

Back at WSA: Lily and the giant trophy


The entire West Sound Academy contingent in that Spanish classroom at Wenatchee High School was thrilled with the team’s success at State.

WSA first started competing in Knowledge Bowl back in the fall of 2008. The team this year has been terrific at listening and supporting one another in every round.

Way to go!