Knowledge Bowl participants, from left, are Chris Hart, Jeffrey Allen, Andrew Bates, Jace Hoemberg, Zach Strickland and Alexandra Davis. (Submitted photo)

Knowledge Bowl team learns from state event

The buzz began in the hallways of Staples Motley High School on April 13, when students lined the halls to send off five members (Jace Hoemberg, Zach Strickland, Chris Hart, Andrew Bates and Jeffrey Allen) of the Knowledge Bowl team to state competition held at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd.

At the state event, the team spent time in the pool area where team pictures were posted as well along with a map of Minnesota marked by push-pins representing the location of each of the 48 teams competing.

At a team meeting the students were eager to locate the competition rooms. Then on to a formal banquet. They were welcomed with the magic number “935”, referencing the number of knowledge bowl teams in the state that were not at the banquet that evening. The SM team was shocked and impressed by the number giving them an idea as to what they had accomplished to reach this point. 

After the banquet, the teams prepared for written competition which all five Cardinal members participated in. Alexandra Davis, the team’s manager, was brought along to operate the pocket box for other teams for the competition. The number correct determines a teams round one rank for oral. For each round following, the teams shifted based on the number of points earned.

The Cards’ worked well together. They were inclusive of each other, deliberated well as a team and were competitive in the five oral rounds. Following competition the awards ceremony was held. The top six teams (A and AA) received medals and trophies for first through third place. 

Those top teams, were all experienced junior and senior teams. Coaches Darla Davis and Shawna Poncelet congratulated the Cardinals for their achievement to participate at the state level with a young team of two freshmen, two juniors and a senior. 

The response from the kids was “We’re coming back.”

Coach Davis said “The energy, competition, service and organization of the Knowledge Bowl state competition was fantastic. Competing with the top 48 teams in the state was a unique experience, wonderful team bonding opportunity and a fantastic conclusion to a great season.”

Staples Motley placed 18th in Class A and have set a goal to rank even higher next year. This opportunity allowed the coaches to observe, giving them an opportunity to focus on what still needs to be worked on. We will be ready for a new season of Knowledge Bowl next fall.

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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

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