by Cori Hilsgen
The St. John’s Prep knowledge bowl team, competeing against more than 40 other teams, won the State Knowledge Bowl Meet held April 11 at Cragun’s Resort by Brainerd.
The SJP winning team consists of one freshman – Amelia Broman, daughter of Evelyn Erickson and Bruce Broman of St. Cloud; and four sophomores – Sam Rogers, son of Sara and Joe Rogers of Avon; Marisa Gaetz, daughter of Rose and Rick Gaetz of St. Joseph; Justin Terhaar, son of Jody and Karl Terhaar of St. Joseph; and Nick Haeg, son of Claire and Benedict Haeg of Sauk Centre.
Knowledge Bowl teams compete in both written and oral rounds of academic questions.
Coach Charles Miller said this is the second time in three years that SJP has won the state title. They also won in 2006, 2008 and 2012. None of the current students was on the 2012 team, but Marisa Gaetz’s brother, Christian Gaetz, was a 2012 state champion.
“The spokesperson for the team was Sam Rogers,” Miller said. “He has been a captain of Knowledge Bowl on my teams since he joined in sixth grade. Everyone on the team competed seriously in middle school as well.”
Miller said the youth of the team helped them stay relaxed and not get too serious about things if they hit some bad luck on questions or rough buzzing.
“They are excited to return as a team next year and try to repeat,” Miller said.
SJP has a tradition of going bowling in Brainerd before the meet starts. This year while they were competing boys against the girls, the song Rock Lobster by the B-52s started playing on the radio and everyone on the team started bowling really well. The team decided that Rock Lobster would be their theme song and they sang it throughout the tournament.
SJP practices about 1.5 hours twice each week from Thanksgiving through April. To prepare specifically for state competition, the team met before school and also scrimmaged against Albany and Sartell to refresh the teams.
“There is a long break between the regional meet and the state meet every year,” Miller said.