Four students from Steinbach Regional Secondary School have won the Provincial title in Reach for the Top competition.
The senior team is led by captain Kyle Jeffers, a grade 12 student. The rest of the team members are in grade 11. They are Garrett Hurst, Elena Knight and Brendan Kootstra.
Teacher Neal Rohne is one of the coaches and he says this trivia competition is intense, highlighting knowledge and academics.
“It's been going on in Canada for probably almost, I'd say about 60 years. It actually used to be a game show on TV,” Rohne says. “High school students compete in fast-paced trivia action, pitting high school teams against other high school teams across the province. Provincial winners end up going to the Nationals, which I think are usually held in Ottawa.”
This was the first time ever that the SRSS team has won provincials. They did so in fine form, going 6-0 and then defeating Fort Richmond in the finals 360-270.
SRSS Senior Reach for the Top team are provincial champs! They went 6-0 and defeated Fort Richmond in the finals 360-270. #ourschoolourteam— SRSS Sabres (@srssnation) April 27, 2022
This is a very exciting victory.
“Me and one of the other coaches were getting a little bit teary eyed because of it,” Rohne admits. “And you know, we're a community who's pretty big into things like volleyball and hockey. And so, it's very important for us as a school to highlight other things too in addition to those sports. Something like this, there's the academic knowledge competition which attracts a different kind of student to a club and we're quite proud of it.”
Rohne says coaches will often be congratulated when their team wins a championship, but he says this team gets all the credit for this big victory.
“I give them strategies when we have practices, you know, ‘if you hear this kind of question then this is the kind of response you should give,’ but it's really the students.” he says. “They take an interest in learning things. They'll get questions wrong in practices or in tournaments throughout the season, and they're the kind of kids who will go home and be like ‘I want to know that. I want to know why I got it wrong. I want to know what the right answer is.’ And that takes them down the rabbit hole of trivia. Trivia is all about just accessing those filing cabinets in your head, to retrieve information quickly and we've got a good crew this year that can do that.”
The top three teams from each province move on to Nationals in May.
Rohne points out that this team is a good, very well-rounded team.
“We’ve got some players that know a lot about history and politics. Other players know a lot about literature, another player knows about pop culture, current music trends and things like that. And our captain, Kyle, knows a lot of everything, and so they're all effective players and they can make up for the deficit of other players, which makes a good team, right?”
As the team prepares for Nationals at the end of May, Rohne has a message for the players.
“The coaches and the entire school and the community is super proud of you guys. Like I mentioned, this has never happened before at the SRSS, so that's a big accomplishment. And you know, we've got an awesome trophy and you guys should be proud.”