Buena’s Knowledge Bowl prepares for another year of crushing competition


Sierra Ruiz

The Betty Rutherford trophy located in Buena’s Library

Sierra Ruiz, Staff Writer

Buena’s continually successful Knowledge Bowl team jumps back into another year of competition. Competing for over 50 years, the team has left an impressive record of taking first place in competitions, winning a total of 17 times. English teacher and Knowledge Bowl coach, Andrew Coates has high hopes for this year’s team. 

“I won’t be happy with anything other than first place,” Coates said. “We have a history of doing well and I want to keep that up. We have been consistently successful.”

In 1964, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) created a group called Knowledge Bowl. Unlike most trivia games, Knowledge Bowl is a competition that is not assigned a topic for participants to study instead, they must have a large array of knowledge in order to successfully compete. 

Coates has coached the team for the past five years, inheriting on the position from librarian Joel Levin. Although only participating in three full seasons due to COVID-19, he has lead the team to some considerable feats such as coaching last year’s team to take first place.

You will learn a lot about things you never knew and it’s all so fascinating.

— Shawn Coyner

Despite the triumphs, Coates mentioned Buena sometimes receives the unfair judgment of “not being academically serious”, but wants the community to know that Knowledge Bowl demonstrates how serious Buena students can be. Buena has won more than any other school in the district; As previously stated, 17 times in total.

First year member and senior Shawn Coyner joined the club after being intrigued by the style and competition aspects of the group, as well as having the desire to learn more about a variety of topics. “It [the group] seemed interesting. I wanted to see how much I knew,” Coyner said. “You will learn a lot about things you never knew and it’s all so fascinating.” 

Though the age-old misconception that students with the drive to learn are “too serious”, Coyner said it is not all what it may seem. “The team attitude is very friendly and accepting,” Coyner said. 

In March, there will be three nights of competition for the Knowledge Bowl team to have a chance to put their extensive knowledge to the test, competing against 13 other teams in the county. A home competition will be held in Buena’s library March 22 at 6 p.m. 

“That night will be something fun to see,” Coates said. “It may not sound fun but it is a great watch.”