A Black Hills battle of the brains

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Eighteen middle and high schools from the Black Hills region met Saturday in grueling competition - but not on the gridiron.

St. Thomas More High School in Rapid City hosted the Black Hills Regional Knowledge Bowl, pitting teams of each schools’ brightest students against each other in a battle of wits and intelligence.

Each team had to take a written test, followed by a series of oral “question-and-answer” rounds. The oral rounds consisted of groups of three schools going head-to-head to find answers before the others. The questions covered a broad array of topics, from literature and history, to mathematics and science.

But, this competition was more than a trivia contest – the Knowledge Bowl was also an opportunity for self-discovery.

“I think the most challenging part is that you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Bridger Gordon, a member of the team from Sturgis Brown High School. “It’s very hard to study up on something if you are oblivious to what you don’t know yet. Whether it’s different chemistry questions, or a book we should all read, what’s really been challenging is trying to figure out what you need to study up on and learn more about.”

The challenges were not limited to the students, though, as the teams’ coaches faced their own set of challenges, some of them the same as the students.

“Our biggest challenge this year is that we have the biggest team we’ve come across,” said Jason Reub, coach of the Rapid City Stevens High School team. “Trying to find the teams, and the kids, and get the teams figured out, and then of course the biggest challenge is figuring out the questions that could be coming and getting the knowledge for them so they’re steered in the right direction.”

The top teams in each division:

High School:

  1. RC Stevens High School
  2. St. Thomas More High School
  3. Hill City High School

Middle School:

  1. Spearfish Middle School
  2. Southwest Middle School
  3. Sturgis Middle School
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