South Whidbey’s Knowledge Bowl students stand out at state finals

Two teams of 12 South Whidbey High School students headed to state finals in Camas over the weekend to test themselves against

150 other 2A schools in the state Knowledge Bowl finals.

The two teams cracked the top five of finishers; the piMPS placed fourth; the ROFLcopterz, fifth.

Rest assured, some students now know exactly what a “gaffer” does.

The answer to that question helped knock the piMPS — co-captains Ben Snow and Sean Hough, Zora Lungren, Philip Hofius, Ian Marsanyi and Grant Neubauer — out of the competition.

“We buzzed in too early,” Hough explained.

“Yeah, we missed the buzzer on that one,” Zora Lungren added.

For the Hollywood-challenged, a gaffer rigs the lights for a film crew.

“But overall, I think we’re happy with the results,” Lungren said.

So is their coach, South Whidbey science teacher Greg Ballog.

“These kids worked together as a team,” he said. “They helped each other out and were very aware of each other’s strengths.”

Ballog said the other team, the ROFLcopterz, lost by only a single point to the Sequim team that eventually took first place.

The ROFLcopterz included captain Dylan Fate, Eric Zink, Wyatt Jarvis, Sam Felt, Casey Fate and Nick Rovang.

Team names are based on word play: “pi” is the mathematical symbol for the number

3.14 and ROFL is an acronym for “rolling on the floor laughing.”

The regular season closed with the Falcons placing second overall out of 56 teams, a field that included much larger 3A and 4A schools.

This was the second year in a row that two South Whidbey teams made it to finals, a first by any 2A school.

Also unique was that in the final round, the two Falcon squads played against each other.

Ballog noted last year’s teams did a little better, placing second and fifth.

“They were a little disappointed with the results but the competition was stiff,” he said. “And they had high expectations, which is no surprise considering how sharp these guys are.”

Next week, the students will be honored by the South Whidbey School District in recognition of their efforts.

And they’re already looking to the future.

“Next year, we plan to dominate,” Lungren said.

“We have a great bunch of hard-working, focused kids,” Ballog said. “Their success is a positive reflection on the community and the entire public school system on South Whidbey.”

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