The Burnsville High School Quiz Bowl team went 7-3 at the State Championship at Eastview High School on Saturday, March 7, finishing in sixth place. Now, the team has its sights set on the High School National Championship, held May 30 in Chicago.
With the team’s most recent successes, Quiz Bowl coach Les Moffitt, who’s in his third year of coaching and runs competition-like practices twice a week to prepare his team, is optimistic about their upcoming events.
“Our team has grown from a casual participant to a serious competitor, and I want to continue developing into a dominant program,” says Moffitt. The team has had unprecedented success this year, displacing former divisional rivals like Rosemount and St. Thomas Academy, and scoring victories over the state’s top two programs, Eden Prairie and Wayzata. Burnsville is looking for a top 100 finish at the national championship.
The BHS Quiz Bowl team consists of 30-40 students and has had five teams compete in the league this season.
Junior Mitchel Fischer is the team’s highest individual scorer, consistently ranked as one of the top students in the state. Other members of the varsity team are Jacob Tangney, Dakota Wickham, Kien Truong and Drew Ehlers. Additional key individuals with recent, highly ranked individual scores include Katie Smith, Noah Pahl, Blake Andert, Nick Schatz, Connor Hume, Sabirina Dauid and Trang Truong. Quiz Bowl truly winds up being a team effort because each round contains a wide range of topics and many members have specialties in certain areas such as history, geography, art, music, literature, mythology, math and science.
“I am very proud of the work that our students have put in this year,” says Moffitt. “One thing that is very nice to see is that Burnsville has a wider range of diversity than many other schools. I am proud of our inclusivity.”
The BHS Quiz Bowl Team is currently ranked 164th in the world and fifth in the state of Minnesota for the 2014-15 high school quiz bowl season. Recognized for its top finishes, the team has been invited to participate in additional national tournaments. With two such tournaments on radar, the team will be hosting a community event to raise funds to go to Chicago and New Orleans and hopes that community members will participate.
The next event for the team is the Burnsville Area Quiz Bowl Tournament on April 18 at Burnsville High School.