March 22 • 02:31 AM

Dryden's 'Quiz kids'

Quiz Bowl team off to state competition at MSU April 24-25

Dryden High School’s successful Quiz Bowl team and coaches include: L-R Marlene Zaetsch, Adam Hiben, Jean Cahill, Mike Cox, Shelby Couch, Spencer Diefenbach, David Hiben, Andrew Diefenbach, Patrick Makarewicz and Sheri Baird. The team soon compete in the State Quiz Bowl competition.

April 01, 2009
DRYDEN — The shared brain power of the high school's Quiz Bowl team is earning the respect of the competition.

The team consists of eight students in grades 9-12, under the guidance of veteran teachers and Quiz Bowl coaches Marlene Zaetsch and Sheri Baird.

Team members include: Shelby Couch (captain), Jean Cahill, Mike Cox, Andrew Diefenbach, Spencer Diefenbach, Adam Hiben, David Hiben and Patrick Makarewicz.

Zaetsch says the team has been devoting long hours in preparation for several local Quiz Bowl competitions, and the work is paying off.

On Feb. 7, the Dryden team finished second in a tourney at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, barely losing to Sandusky at the buzzer, 290-295.

That showing provided the impetus for continued success in their League tournament (second place); a fifth-place finish (out of 13 teams) against Genesee Academic League competition; and another second-place finish in the Thumb Area Quiz Bowl. This year's successes follow a fifth-place finish in the State Quiz Bowl (C-D Division) last year.

The team's consistency and work ethic is making their teachers, coaches and classmates at Dryden High School very proud, says Zaetsch.

"They're practicing four days a week for an hour-and-a-half after school," she says. "The competitions are usually in the evenings or on weekends, so it requires a lot of extra time."

Zaetsch says Dryden High School has been competing in Quiz Bowls since 2000, but describes this year's team as being unique.

"This is the most hard-working group we've ever had," says Zaetsch. "It's a very cohesive group. They're committed to one another and they have the best teamwork we've ever seen."

On Saturday, the Dryden Quiz Bowlers traveled to the March Madness Invitational Quiz Bowl at Michigan State University in Lansing, where they enjoyed yet more success.

Winning four of their seven matches, the team missed the championship playoffs by one bonus question at the buzzer. The team beat Davison High School 200-150; won 125-25 over Anthony Wayne; rolled over Brighton High School 235-70; and earned a narrow victory over Detroit Country Day. They narrowly fell to Rochester High School, 155-160.

"It was the first time we'd been invited to the Invitational," notes Zaetsch, "so that was very exciting for us."

The team has already guaranteed itself a spot in the State Quiz Bowl competition at the MSU Honors College on April 24-25.

"The last goal of the season is to improve the team's standings at the state competition," Zaetsch said, adding that the team will return to daily preparation for the event following spring break.

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