Matthew Hochkammer

Pilot Staff Writer

The Brookings-Harbor High School (BHHS) Knowledge Bowl team recently competed at the small school National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) in Chicago.

While the team failed to place at the tournament held May 3-5, the “A team” posted a 6-6 record and finished 25th out of 80 teams and the “B team” finished 80th.

Part of qualifying to participate in the event meant having to adapt to a different style of play. For example, in the Oregon state sanctioned tournaments, which the BHHS team is more familiar with, teams are not penalized for incorrect answers.

“That kind of screwed us up early on,” said Nathaniel Barnyard, a senior captain of the team.

Another novel feature, said Aynika Nelson, a senior on the team, is the lead-ins for the questions are typically much longer. “You really have to know a lot more background information,” she said.

The most important part of the trip, said “team mom” Lisa Piscitello, was that they got to experience things they wouldn’t normally see in Brookings.

When they weren’t competing, the team was able to explore Chicago including Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Cloud Gate sculpture — commonly referred to as The Chicago Bean. The team was also able to see the musical Hamilton performed at the CBIC Theatre.

Through fundraising, the team was able to raise more than $12,000 for the trip, which paid for travel, food, lodging, and experiences over the course of the four-day trip for all 13 team members and four adult chaperones.

“The community support was really overwhelming,” said Cecilia Milton, a junior on the team. “We had people come in and just ask ‘How much do you guys still need?’ and then write us a check. We even had people donate multiple times just so we could get there.”

The team hopes to qualify for the tournament again next season and thanked the community for their continued support.