Quiz Bowleager new coach revitalizes team

At first, Quiz Bowl may just seem like just a gathering for people who know random trivia. Though participants do exercise their own minds, the announcements about Quiz Bowl do not reveal much about the essence of the team. With further inspection, one would discover that Quiz Bowl is much more than knowing who the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude is, or what exactly is in SPAM. This year, large changes have taken place within the Quiz Bowl team, in the makeup of the students as well as, more evidently, a different coach. Until last year, Mr. Kirk Daddow, a former history teacher at Ames High, had been the coach of the Quiz Bowl team. Since his departure, English teacher Mr. Brekke has taken his place. “[Daddow] approached me last year, and it sounded like an awesome opportunity to get to know some intelligent kids,” Brekke said. Along with a new coach, the structure of the team has become quite different as well, due to many past members graduating last year. “All the seniors left, like Devin Lu, Katie Orazem, Tommy Fields…” said sophomore Lucy Chen, a second-year Quiz Bowl member. The Ames High Quiz Bowl team gives students a chance to test their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, from math and chemistry to world history and popular culture. Along with knowledge and quick thinking, cooperation is essential, as the team must work together to answer questions quickly, before their opponents do. “Group dynamics are really important,” Brekke said. As the new year begins, hopes are high for the students participating. “[I’m looking forward to] actually participating.” sophomore Diane Wang said. “I’m looking forward to getting really smart and learning random things.” said junior Akshay Sanghi, a new member of Quiz Bowl. Brekke’s goals for Quiz Bowl are ambitious; he has high expectations for this year. Brekke said that he was especially looking forward to having opportunities for teammates to get to know each other and “build team cohesion.” There may also be opportunities for students who are not on the Quiz Bowl team to attend practices, observe, and see if they would like to join. Brekke expressed a desire to do well at the competitions around the state against other high school teams and to also go to the national competition. More importantly, Brekke emphasized how much he truly wanted to get to know the students. “I look forward to the chance to working with students I haven’t had before,” Brekke said. “I’m eager to see this group grow. I love learning and I love helping kids, so this is perfect.”