TUMWATER — The Naselle Grays River Valley High School’s (NGRVHS) top knowledge bowl team, known as Monte and the Pythons, competed at the ESD 113 small school regional knowledge bowl meet on Friday, Feb. 7, in Tumwater. The team is made up of Monte Schell, Zanith Wulf, Travis Popkin, John D’Agostino and Cooper Miller.
At the regional meet, the team competed against 17 other 1B and 2B schools from throughout Pacific, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties. The list of competitors included perennial private school powerhouses Pope John Paul II and Northwest Christian of Lacey. Monte and the Pythons was the only 1B school team to face off against both of these two private schools during the regional meet. At the end of the written round and four preliminary oral rounds, the NGRVHS team held third place out of the 18 teams.
Monte and the Pythons squared off against eventual second place winner Mossyrock and North Beach in the semifinal round. The team came up a couple of points shy of winning the semifinal round before facing Northwest Christian and Adna in a consolation round. At the end of the day, the NGRVHS team placed fifth overall and second among the 1B schools with Pope John Paul II winning first place overall and first among the 1B teams. During the earlier rounds, Monte and the Pythons tied Pope John Paul II with 13 points apiece and beat Northwest Christian 11-10. With their high finish, the NGRVHS team qualified for state competition in Yakima on March 21.
NGRVHS Knowledge Bowl Coach Justin Laine noted he is extremely proud of his team’s efforts as they earned third place out of approximately 50 teams (many of them from 1A and 2A schools) at each of the regular meets.
“They competed well at the regional meet,” said Laine. “I look forward to a good showing at the state meet in Yakima. This is a great group of kids with good chemistry.”