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Sisler Narrowly Defeats Kelvin in Reach for the Top Trivia Finals

June 14, 2024 News Story
Sisler High School Reach for the Top team

The Intermediate Reach for the Top Trivia provincial tournament took place at Collège Miles Macdonell Collegiate in late May, featuring the top 8 teams in Manitoba. The Sisler team entered the tournament as defending champions at the Grade 9/10 level and featured a cast of mostly returning players. The juggernaut Spartans had steamrolled through its competition this year posting a 9-0 record and winning all its games at the final tournament. Kelvin similarly entered the provincials undefeated and as the number one seed, based on points per game.

The final match featured several lead changes, and the audience was flabbergasted by the level of knowledge and speed of recall of the players. Both teams also featured players that “played up” at the senior level, a rarity in the Intermediate league. In the end, Sisler overcame a narrow deficit in the last round to prevail, winning by the equivalent of one correct answer.

Ethan Blackburn and Sipara Berhe of Sisler loved the ending to the season. “It was a great season. Playing Kelvin was the best way to end the season, as it was exciting all the way through,” said Ethan. “I loved the thrill and enthusiasm from the team this year,” Sipara concurred. Adeleine Collins added, “We faced many formidable opponents, but never gave up hope and kept trying to get the next question. In the end, we won for the second year in a row!”

Grade 9 Spartans were also enthusiastic about the year. “I’m really glad I joined Reach,” said Raine Dexter. “It has been one of the highlights for my year.”

“It’s super fun and I met so many amazing people,” agreed Bella Recuenco.

“Hopefully we can get some new Grade 9s next year so we can continue to reign as Intermediate provincial champions,” continued Raine. Adeleine and Sipara are both excited for next year. “We will continue to sharpen our skills so we can be better prepared against other teams next year,” said Adeleine, with Sipara chiming in, “We’ve all improved and the new Intermediates will take up our spot as we move fully into the Senior league.”

It is somewhat significant that two WSD schools participated in the finals, as this has not happened in over a quarter century (perhaps more)! In the late 1960s and early 1970s, both Kelvin and Sisler had won National championships. With over 400 schools participating nationally, this was quite an achievement. 

At the Senior tournament level, Kelvin narrowly lost to Miles Mac to come in second, while Sisler came in a respectable fourth place after years of not qualifying for Senior provincials. Kelvin has won 5 provincial titles in the last two decades. Following their provincial win, Sisler played an invitational exhibition game against city councilors Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) and other city employees. Sisler is coached by Ms. Johnson and Ms. Pereira, and Kelvin is coached by Mr. Martens.

Reach for the Top is a celebrated Canadian institution that has been around for almost 60 years and was one televised nationally and hosted by Alex Trebek. Private schools have dominated for the last 15 years or so, but the strong teaching and leadership of WSD teachers have produced some of the finest players in the country and another national title may come back to Manitoba soon.

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