Knowledge Bowl wins state with an incredible victory


Lizzy Camp

Three Knowledge Bowl state banners hang, waiting to be joined by the fourth.

Lizzy Camp, Staff Writer

Fossil Ridge High School’s Knowledge Bowl team has won the state championship with a sweeping victory during a year that has offered more challenges than any before. With an incredible score of 200, forty points higher than the second place team, Fossil’s Knowledge Bowl team brought home the state title.

“I think winning was definitely the highlight,” said Ariel Hsu, a senior and captain of the team. “I haven’t really won one in the four years I’ve played here, so it was kind of a full circle moment for me.” Fossil last won the state championship title in 2016, and came in second in 2015. 

There was much anxiety during the tournament, especially when the team started to gain a large lead.  “We were pretty anxious about if we were going to blow our lead or not, but we managed to carry over,” commented Hsu. However, Hsu also mentioned that there was less anxiety than other years for her personally, especially in a virtual environment. “The atmosphere was really just a relaxed one. Most of the time it was just making sure that everybody is happy with how they were playing.”

Katie Rude, a sponsor for Knowledge Bowl, agreed with Hsu. “There were some tense moments, but our players worked hard to keep their heads up and encourage one another.” Rude also agreed that near the end of the tournament, the team was encouraged with their lead and excited with the prospect of winning state. 

Like most activities, Knowledge Bowl’s 2020 season was cancelled. The pandemic affected many parts of this year’s tournament. The team used to use a handheld buzzer system, but now, with practices and competitions moving to virtual environments, they used their keyboards. 

Rude said that there was a learning gap at the beginning. “It took a while for players, coaches, and meet volunteers to figure out the new technology, but by the end of the season we were running a new kind of virtual Knowledge Bowl tournament.”

Another key part of Knowledge Bowl that experienced upset was the team dynamic. “So this year, it’s been difficult building team chemistry and getting new people to join in and stay around because we can’t really go anywhere, or eat dinner, or anything like that,” Hsu commented. Although the dynamic has been different, Hsu said they still feel like a close-knit family. “We played a lot of Among Us this year,” Hsu admitted with a laugh. 

The pandemic even made their win a bit sweeter, according to Hsu. “It [winning] just felt like a full circle moment for such a weird two years that has happened.”