LONGVIEW-There is a saying that knowledge is power and Ilwaco's Knowledge Bowl teams proved to be powerful in their first meet of the season. Competing against nine other schools, the top Fishermen squad came in third.

Each of the other schools only had one varsity and one JV team in the contest of quick recall and general facts; however Ilwaco had three varsity teams. The other teams finished eighth and 10th among the 12 groups. The Fishermen junior varsity team was ninth in the novice division.

The group of Meredith Jensen, Katie and Kristi Freese, Dylan Wirkkala, and Shaun Peterson scored 76 points, finishing just a few factual answers behind R.A. Long with 84 points and Woodland with 78. The IHS Knowledge Bowl crew is coached by Tom Trudell.

Knowledge Bowl consists or a written test and three rounds of questions much like the old College Bowl format, with the total points being calculated by adding up all correct answers from the written examination and oral rounds.

The team competes about once a month and in the spring a regional tournament leads to scholars being able to qualify for the state tournament. The competition of a hard-fought meet is every bit as intense as any athletic contest. With that in mind, consider the choice Coach Trudell was faced with last year.

His team had competed in ESD 113's (Centralia area) jurisdiction all season but had to go to ESD 112's regional tournament (Longview area) to qualify for state. Moments before the written test was to begin, Mr. Trudell noticed that all of the questions were exactly the same as those used in a previous match for ESD 113.

He could have ignored the fact that his teams had seen the questions before and therefore would have a distinct advantage. Trudell, who teaches history classes at IHS, made like "honest Abe" and quickly told the event director of the circumstances - thus disqualifying the Fishermen.

"This year we will compete in ESD 112 and be in their regional," Trudell explains. "I don't want to go through anything like what happened to us last year."

Other Ilwaco KBers include Tony Bartolus, Hannah Bolden, Tom Browning, Connie Clubb, Madeline Dickerson, Elaina Erola, Rebecca Fitch, Kelly Freese, Trista Friend, Tiffany Hubbard, Angel Leal, and Leea Lehman.

Also on the Fishermen roster is Tasha and Stanton Nesbitt, Theo Raaymakers, Fernando Rodriquez Perez, Stephanie Ryan, Robert Schmidt, Alex Tarabochia, Emily Thorne, Mike Wahler, Ben Weidner, Jessie and Shayla Williams, Nick Wilson-Codega, and Mark Wirkkala.

Standings:R.A. Long 84

Woodland 78

ILWACO #1 76

Kelso 72

Kalama 70

Castle Rock 53

Mark Morris 53

ILWACO #2 52

LaCenter 47

ILWACO #3 43

Toutle Lake 40

Cathlamet 25

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