The North Branch Area High School (NBAHS) Knowledge Bowl team kicked off the 2021-2022 season with a holiday meet on Tuesday, Dec.14. This marked the return to the first in-person competition since March, 2020, when COVID forced the 2020 season to go virtual. The North Branch squad, which has ballooned to 36 members, up from 21 last year, has been practicing since November. The regular season will run through February.

At the festive Holiday meet, teams from East Central, Hinckley, Braham, Mora, Zimmerman, and Elk River joined in the festivities. The home Vikings started in a gracious host mode, allowing the other schools to compete in the top rooms. As the competition wore on, the Viking hoard became dominant. The Vikings placed first, third, and fourth once the final tallies were counted.

The first place team consisted of Drake Mellon, Norah Judson, Natalie Gavit, Elayna Goeltl, and Theresa Beck. A large contingent of freshmen and sophomores also did well competing against higher grade levels, and more experienced teams. Overall, the competition was a great success for the Viking Squad.

An additional element of the Holiday tournament is to embody the holiday spirit. The two winning teams in this category include the Christmas Carol team and in second was the Suits team.

The team is coached by Chas Bettendorf, in his 33rd year of coaching NBAHS academic teams. He is joined by long-time assistant coach Jen Joyal.

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