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Team ends 4-year run with third win at 2011 Knowledge Bowl

By JR Ortega
Feb. 18, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2011 at 8:18 p.m.

Members of team Geezer Genius write down the answer to one of the questions during the first round of the 2011 Knowledge Bowl on Friday.

Nick Gregory darted his head toward one of his teammates and discussion ensued on the third question of the night.

"There's a lot of sports questions," the senior at Victoria East High School said.

Inaudible whispers among each table echoed loudly in the Victoria College Student Center as 25 adult teams and 10 high school teams competed at the Rotary Clubs of Victoria's 18th annual Knowledge Bowl, Friday night.

This year, Geezer Genius won the adult division and Team Titans won the high school division.

Geezer Genius is made up of Roy Johnson, Bill Matthys, Alan Rowbotham and Bob Weiss and the Team Titans is made up of Nick, Luke Riley, Brittany Bradshaw and Ashley Chang.

"We were hopeful, but after the last round, we were a little bit afraid that we may have dropped in the standings," Matthys said.

The East student team won first place in 2008 and 2010 as the Memorial High School Debate team, Nick said. The team won second in 2009.

"We thought it was really nice that we wrapped up Knowledge Bowl with a first place," Nick said.

Nick, Brittany and Ashley have been in the Knowledge Bowl since they were freshmen, but Luke is a new addition.

Luke has experience in trivia and was an easy add on.

"I think this year's questions are harder than last year," Ashley said at the end of the first round of 50 questions.

The Knowledge Bowl is made up of three rounds, and each round is made up of 50 questions.

"Ah!" yelled the team of seniors as the answer to one of the questions they thought they had gotten right flashed across the screen.

They took the wrong answer in stride.

"It's more about knowing random facts," Nick said.

"And world news," Ashley chimed in.

One table down, the Beasts from the East, a team of Victoria East teachers, answered the same questions as the students they teach five days a week.

"It's fun. We look over their shoulders," said government teacher Ben Sheeran laughing.

A team of Victoria West teachers, the Victoria Westerners, also joined in the Trivial Pursuit-styled fun. West did not have a student team.

Watching the deliberation between teammates and their excitement over right and wrong answers is enough to make Omar Rachid smile.

Rachid, who is the chairman of one of the Knowledge Bowl planning committees, was happy about the turn out.

"It's a very good feeling seeing them debate the answers amongst themselves," Rachid said.

The Knowledge Bowl is held each year to benefit the Victoria Adult Literacy Council.

According to the Victoria Adult Literacy Council, anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of adult learners have a hidden learning disability, said Stacey Milberger, executive director of the council.

Behind a maroon-velvet rope sat husband and wife Jay and Mary Kasper.

The two spectators have a daughter on the St. Joseph High School team and they have been coming as spectators for about five years, the father said.

"They're difficult," he said as he checked off the right and wrong answers on his notepad. "We have been to many of these and the questions are more difficult than usual."

What the Knowledge Bowl benefits is also the reason the couple enjoys trying their hand at the trivia questions, Jay Kasper said.

"18 out of 50," he said counting how many he got right in the first round.

Mary glanced at him and folded her paper in disappointment.

"We do compete against each other," she said smiling. "But he beat me."

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