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Dedicates win to their teacher "Ms. T"

By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles  

LAKE CHARLES — A team of Immaculate Conception Cathedral School students answered their way through a nail-biting series of questions about the Catholic faith to claim the championship title in the seventh annual Diocesan Quiz Bowl on Saturday, March 9.

Hosted by the Office of Religious Education, the event took place at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School.

First place in the Diocesan 2024 Quiz Bowl went to Immaculate
Conception Cathedral School (Team #1). Accepting their prize
of $400 from Sister Maura Clare Mayock, R.S.M., Director for
the Office of Religious Education, are team members with
team leader (from left) Milissa Thibodeaux “Ms. T.”,
Briggs Hurt (alternate), Tate Poncho, Dale Spencer,
Ty Pham, and Davis Hankins.

ICCS triumphed by five points over Saints Isidore and Maria — a team from a Domestic Church Circle group in the East Deanery — with a final score of 15-10 out of 30 questions.  

The winners made history for ICCS by being the first ones to earn the title for their school. It was an extra-special victory since this was their last year to be eligible as the competition is for students in grades 6-8.  

The champions — Ty Pham, Dale Spencer, Tate Poncho, and Davis Hankins — dedicated their win to Milissa Thibodeaux, affectionally called “Ms. T” by her students.  

Second place went to Saints Isidore and Maria, a Domestic Church
Circle team from the East Deanery. Accepting their prize of $200 are

team members with their leader (from left) Erin Fontenot, Stuart Wild,
Molly Fontenot, Ruby Augustine, and Bryce Fontenot, pictured with
Sister Maura Clare
Mayock, R.S.M.

“Ms. T” offered an enrichment class for us,” said Hankins. “It was so amazing what she did for us. We learned a lot more from her.”  

After last year’s loss by only two points, the same ICCS team was determined to study harder and give it all they had since it was their final year to compete.  

“We decided that all of us would learn everything in case one person did not know the answer, someone else would,” said Pham.  

“On questions that we did not know, the important thing was to just talk (with each other) about anything related to that subject and hopefully we would hit on major points,” said Spencer.  

Thibodeaux, the team’s middle school theology teacher, said the winners had a desire to learn about the faith and continue to grow as young Catholics.

Third place went to Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School.
Accepting their prize of $100 are team members with their leader,
(from left) Connie Houssiere,
Carl Joseph Morillo, Eli Erwin,
Corinne Zeringue, and Alexis Rodericks
, pictured with
Sister Maura Clare Mayock, R.S.M.

 “These same boys have been on a team together and have competed for three years. They came in second last year and really had a drive this year to win,” she said. “They gave up enrichment classes that they might have wanted to do so they could participate in the Quiz Bowl enrichment class.”  

ICCS had four teams taking part this year, some of them with younger students.  

“I was super excited to have a ton of sixth graders who came, and even though they didn’t place, they have a desire to continue what these eighth graders have laid the foundation on the past three years,” Thibodeaux remarked enthusiastically. 

Third place went to OLQH Catholic School, and fourth place went to ICCS Team #2. Schools or parishes that entered more than one team were distinguished by numbers.  

Cash prizes for the top four teams included $400, $200, $100, and $60, along with certificates signed by Bishop Glen John Provost.

Fourth place went to Immaculate Conception Cathedral School
(Team #2). Accepting their prize of $60 are 
team members with
their leader (from left) Milissa Thibodeaux, Cara Jones,
Noelle Robertson, Cora Pelloquin, Josie Obluda, and
Brooks Burleigh (alternate), pictured
Sister Maura Clare 
Mayock, R.S.M.

Sixty students making up 15 teams represented area schools and church parishes.  

Participants included:  

  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral School — four teams 
  • St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic School — four teams 
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church in Vinton — two teams 
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish (Edge Middle School Youth Program) — one team 
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School — one team 
  • Our Lady of LaSalette Parish (DeQuincy) — one team 
  • Our Lady Immaculate Catholic School — one team 
  • Saints Isidore and Marie — one team

Bishop Provost, who initiated the idea of a Quiz Bowl in 2015, led the contestants in prayer before the start of the Catholic trivia game. He reminded them that while intellectual knowledge of their faith is good, it is also important to grow in our love and worship of the Lord.  

Teams answered a series of 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.  

Bryce Fontenot, a contestant on the second-place team, admits that being too fast on the buzzer cost them the first game.  

“We lost the first round to ICCS Team #2. We were buzzer happy and should have let the judge finish the questions before we tried to answer,” said Fontenot, who was on the championship team in 2023 and 2022.  

Fontenot’s teammate, Stuart Wild, agreed he should have been more patient but also acknowledged that ICCS had some good contestants. “We played ICCS in the championship round last year and it was a close game. We only beat them by two points. This year they were very good.”  

Judges for the Quiz Bowl were Father Whitney Miller, Father Andy DeRouen, Hannah Beard, Katarina Caraway, Bonnie Kron, Alexis Bauer, Keith and Deborah Faul, Adrienne Ward, Luca Hagen, Nick Rougeau, Ann Vincent, and Pamela Seal. Assisting as a runner between multiple classrooms and the cafeteria was Joseph Johnson.  

Contributing sponsors were O’Dowd Law Firm, Reddoch Land Surveying, “Honor Mary, Pray the Rosary,” Lakeside Bank, and Henderson Wholesale (a distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza). 

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