Competing against 4A and 5A schools and even front-range academies and charter schools, the Bayfield High School Knowledge Bowl team held its own at state competition last week, taking second in 3A competition.
Against all 60 teams attending state competition, BHS took eighth overall. The state competition was held March 13 and 14 at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins.
Their second place at regional and state competition earned the team an invitation to the 35th annual National Academic Championship this summer. The team is able to choose which competition to attend, with locations in New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Chicago, and most of the BHS students want to go to Washington.
At state competition, Knowledge Bowl competitors take part in two written rounds of competition, then up to seven rounds of oral competitions. The 60 teams are competing in about 20 rooms, which gets a little hectic at times, said Colton Stumpf, one of the team's two seniors. The other is Mitchell McCloskey.
As veterans of Knowledge Bowl, they attended national competition two years ago. While visiting the National Zoo, McCloskey bought a giant stuffed panda and named him after his favorite author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the black-and-white furball has been the team mascot ever since.
"He goes everywhere with us," said their coach, Roxanne Henderson.
Liberty Common Charter School in Ft. Collins took the 3A title at state. Henderson was proud to note that Ouray and Telluride placed in the 1A and 2A state competition, as well, after competing at the regional competition hosted by Bayfield on Jan. 28.
The team members are raising funds for their trip to nationals now. Donations can be sent to Bayfield High School, 800 CR 501, Bayfield, 81122. Knowledge Bowl should be in the memo so the donation can be earmarked for the team.