Manistee Catholic Central wins West Michigan D Quiz Bowl championship

BRETHREN — Anyone taking the time to view the 2017 West Michigan D League Quiz Bowl at Brethren High School on Thursday would have been amazed at the depth and breadth of the students’ knowledge.

Manistee Catholic Central Quiz Bowl captain Elizabeth Slivka and Max Papenfuss confer on an answer in Thursday West Michigan D League Quiz Bowl competition. The tournament was won by Manistee Catholic Central who defeated Brethren in the championship round.

Manistee Catholic Central Quiz Bowl captain Elizabeth Slivka and Max Papenfuss confer on an answer in Thursday West Michigan D League Quiz Bowl competition. The tournament was won by Manistee Catholic Central who defeated Brethren in the championship round.

For more than four hours, students from Brethren, Manistee Catholic Central, Bear Lake, Pentwater, Mason County Eastern and Walkerville battled to win the championship and a berth in the state Quiz Bowl championship in April.

Sweeping through the double-elimination tournament without suffering a loss were the Manistee Catholic Central Sabers under the direction of coach Jason Allen. Team members Max Papenfuss, Elizabeth Slivka, Joe Buswinka, Jacob McComb, Molly McLinden, Sean Dougherty, Josh Fleszar, Logan Miller and Bobby Jacobson were strong in every match during the day including a 300-50 win over Brethren in the championship round.

“The team did put forth a great effort and we are very proud of all our kids,” said Allen. “Many of our kids shined today. Max Papenfuss shined today and answered a lot of questions correctly today. Joe, Josh and our captain Elizabeth also did well today, so we get to go to the state tournament in Lansing now.”

The road to the finals for the Sabers opened with a 325-50 win over Walkerville. The Sabers followed that up with a 245-60 win over Bear Lake before earning a spot in the finals with a 145-95 triumph over Pentwater.

Another team turning in a great effort was the Brethren Bobcats under coach Julie Riggs. Team members John Schaefer, Jacob Cook, Heather VanderBie, Mary Voorheis, Olivia Jacobs and Taylor Cordes all battled hard throughout the day.

Brethren opened the tournament with a win over Mason County Eastern, but then were surprised 145-125 by a very good Pentwater Falcon team. However, revenge for that loss was lying just ahead for the Bobcats.

After losing to Pentwater, the Bobcats went down into the losers bracket portion of the tournament where they ended the day for the Bear Lake Lakers, 145-60. That placed them back up against Pentwater to see who would challenge the Sabers in the finals.

This time around it was a different story when the two teams squared off, and Brethren walked away with a 150-115 triumph. That set things up for the final match of the day, which the Sabers won.

“It is always competitive and it isn’t just about what they know, but the confidence at the table as the kids don’t want to answer incorrectly and get the negative points,” said Riggs. “So sometimes they are shy and that can keep them from answering.”

Riggs said what is amazing is all of the schools that competed are smaller schools, but anyone watching would have thought they came from much larger schools.

“All of our schools are Class D schools that don’t have the fancy classes for the kids, but these kids educate themselves in their reading and things like that,” said Riggs. “It is good to see how they flourish, and it is just fun to watch as the kids are here for the same reason in wanting that big trophy, but they are all friendly and it’s a good competition.”

The Bear Lake team that was led by coach Lavon Jonson had a rough road, as the pairings put them up against some really tough teams. What also made it tough was the Lakers were playing short handed for the tournament.

“I was only able to bring five of our 12 team members to participate today,” said Jonson. “But they did a good job and won one match, but we ran into Manistee Catholic and Brethren, who are two amazing teams and those are the two that we lost to today.”

Competing for Bear Lake was Josh Feyers, Todd Merrill, Ethan Skaggs, Avery Mullet and Curtis Kennedy. Thursday’s action was the last of the year for the Lakers.

Leave a Reply