"You want to give it a try?"
Well sure, what trivia-loving newspaper geek wouldn't want to give Knowledge Bowl practice a shot?
I have the degree, right? I compete with the family while watching "Jeopardy" - I got this.
Eight practice questions later, I felt a tad humbled. They had beat me at every question. The one that even took the team a little while to answer, involving the Iraqi Republican Guards, happened before they were born, and I was still in college.
Worse yet, team captain Collin Jackson has the habit of answering questions even before the announcer, in this case Coach Roxanne Henderson, has a chance to finish answering the question.
Yes, BHS Knowledge Bowl is that good.
On Jan. 27, they hosted the regional Knowledge Bowl competition at BHS, taking the 3A title and placing fourth overall, including against the impressive Grand Junction teams that have a daily class geared toward the academic competition.
The JV team took second, narrowly being defeated by Dolores, 51-49.
Knowledge Bowl teams have four students competing first in a written competition for 45 to 50 minutes, then an oral round.
"We practice very day," said Weslee Blakeslee, a member of the junior varsity team.
While the regional meet was tough because they had to compete against larger schools, it helped the BHS students learn they need to focus on the written round, which they completed almost too quickly, in 20 minutes.
"That was our weakness," said A.J. Swink, noting that since then, the team has practiced analyzing the questions and slowing down their response times.
So other than being almost annoyingly smart, what makes these kids want to participate in Knowledge Bowl?
"It's kind of a natural high," said Blakeslee. "You get to reward yourself for what you know."
Added Jackson: "It's almost an outlet for all the random knowledge in your head."
Swink said he likes meeting contestants from around the state and traveling to meets.
The varsity team competed this year in Grand Junction, took second in Cortez, and won the Ignacio meet. The JV team took fourth in Grand Junction and second in Cortez.
Through all of the practice and travel, the team members grow close.
"We're a family," one member said. "We're a big family!" added Rock Wageman, another member of the varsity team. The other member is Andrew Stumpf.
JV team members are Blakeslee, Elsa Kopf, Xander Hovenstine, Summer Hollingsworth and a new member, Hailey Anderson. Only the varsity team will compete at state, but a member of the JV team will join them as an alternate.
On Jan. 20, the teams completed in a Quiz Bowl competition in Albuquerque, which is similar to Knowledge Bowl but a little faster paced. Even though it was their first time competing in the different format, the varsity placed and qualified for the National Academic Quiz Tournament in April in Chicago. Coach Henderson said she's looking forward to seeing how well the team performs there because it's against their peers - the competition is for students in public schools with enrollment of 500 students or less. Last year, they attended a national Knowledge Bowl competition in Washington D.C., competing against students from large high schools and private academies.
The BHS team performed well, but Henderson would like to see how they fare on a level playing field.
"They're a great group of kids," she stated. "They are incredible." At meets, fans and coaches always compliment their behavior, she added. The students are raising funds now for the competition in Chicago by working at basketball concession stands. They might qualify at state for another national meet, but Henderson said it would be hard to make enough money to pay for two trips. Donations to the team for the national trip can be sent to Bayfield High School, 800 CR 501, Bayfield. Knowledge Bowl Team should be in the memo.