By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — “Dumb Ox,” a team of homeschool students from the East Deanery, answered their way through a series of questions about the Catholic faith to claim the championship title in the 2023 Diocesan Quiz Bowl on Saturday, February 4.
The students chose their team's name in reference to Saint Thomas Aquinas who was dubbed the “Dumb Ox” by his classmates for his shyness. St. Thomas would prove to possess a rare brilliance, sparking a revolution in Christian thought.
All three teams competing from Immaculate Conception Cathedral School swept second place (red team), third place (green team), and fourth place (blue team). Schools or church parishes that entered more than one team were distinguished by colors.
Dumb Ox triumphed by only two points over the ICCS Red Team in the championship round with a final score of 13-11 out of 30 questions.
A total of 56 students, making up 14 teams, competed in the sixth annual event for grades 6-8. The contest — on all things Catholic — was held at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School. Cash prizes for the winning teams included $400, $200, $100, and $60.
Participants included two teams from St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church; three teams from Immaculate Conception Cathedral School; Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Lake Charles; Our Lady Immaculate Catholic School in Jennings; four teams from St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic School; two teams from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Vinton; and the lone homeschool team, Dumb Ox, from the East Deanery.
The morning began with an opening prayer and welcome by Bishop Glen John Provost, who first initiated the idea of a Quiz Bowl in 2015 to bring students into a deeper knowledge and love of their faith.
Teams answered a series of up to 30 questions in each round for one point each. Being quick on the buzzer with the most correct answers was key to advancing to the next round.
Dumb Ox team members — Bryce Fontenot, Isaac Broussard, Richard Edwards, and Stuart Wild — were on a mission to keep the winning streak going for the East Deanery. Fontenot, Broussard, and Edwards were on the championship team in 2022 when they competed for Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church.
They said their strategy is all about memorization of as many of the 500 questions in the study guide as possible.
“We started about five weeks before the Quiz Bowl and got together for two hours once a week and practiced,” said Fontenot.
The team’s friendship and love of their Catholic faith are big motivators for them wanting to compete.
“It’s fun. We are friends so we just do it as a group and hang out while studying,” Fontenot said.
“It’s a good opportunity to show how much we know about God,” Broussard chimed in.
Sister Maura Clare Mayock, R.S.M., Director of Religious Education for the Diocese, said she is proud of all the contestants for their hard work and for taking the chance to compete.
“We are so glad to have this chance to let young people show how much they know about their faith. It’s also great to see all the students from different schools and church parishes coming together,” said Sister Maura Clare.
Building on what they learned for the Quiz Bowl this year, the students can look ahead to preparing for the 2024 event while making the whole process enjoyable.
“I encourage the students to find creative ways to study and to enjoy the learning process — even if you don’t go home with the big win, you will have a great time,” added Sister Maura Clare.
Judges for the Quiz Bowl were Father Sam Bond, Father John Payne, Father Andrew DeRouen, Deacon Harold Nixon, Sister Miriam MacLean, R.S.M., Vianney House residents — Logan Guillot and Cameron Fontenot; Justin Sittig, Edward and Bonnie Kron, and Hannah Beard.
Contributing sponsors were Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School, Navarra’s Jewelry & Gifts, O’Dowd Law Firm, Big Daddy’s Sports Grill, Decided Excellence Catholic Media, Lakeside Bank, and "Honor Mary, Pray the Rosary."