Cedar Crest students Danny Peelen, Sam Joffey, and Reed Fretz took first place for the Falcons in the 2022 Brain Busters Championship.

WGAL 8 Brain Busters is a high school quiz show that pits quiz bowl squads from across the area against each other as they all vie to become season champions.

In the championship finale, Cedar Crest beat out Trinity with 460 points to 235 points.

Wondering what types of questions they had to answer? Here’s a sample…

  • Covering an area of about 287,000 square miles, part of it belongs to Malaysia, part of it belongs to Indonesia, and part of it belongs to the Sultanate of Brunei. (Answer: Borneo)
  • This justice’s decision to step down after 27 years allowed President Biden to appoint Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Answer: Stephen Breyer)
  • As a sign of the growing dominance of streaming services, this film won best picture at the Oscars in 2022. (Answer: “CODA”)

A Cedar Crest team previously won the championship in 2016. Math teacher and quiz bowl coach Shane Thomas has been coaching the team for the past 22 years, longer than the Brain Busters tournament has been in existence. Earlier this year, Thomas was named Coach of the Year by Greater Pennsylvania Quiz Bowl.

Cedar Crest teachers Shane Thomas, Catherine Zackey, and Dr. Ann Zorrilla competed against teachers from Trinity as part of a special segment in the championship episode of WGAL Brain Busters. Spoiler alert: Cedar Crest teachers won this round, too.

Notably, the quiz bowl team that appeared for the Falcons on Brain Busters had no seniors this past season. As Thomas notes in an interview with WGAL, it’s not for lack of interest.

“We have seniors who are involved in our quiz bowl program, but none of them are really at the level to compete with these guys,” said Thomas.

Rising seniors Peelen and Joffey first participated in Brain Busters together through a special elementary school episode when they were in 5th grade.

“Once you get a question right, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so great,'” said Peelen about getting hooked on the quiz bowl format.

With Fretz, a rising junior, rounding out the triumvirate, the squad looks poised to once again dominate the WGAL competition next season.

Watch the full episode here.


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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that the Quiz Bowl team was started by Shane Thomas. In fact, the team dates back some 40 years. We sincerely regret the error.