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District ‘Go for the Gold’ team takes fourth

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They may not have captured the “gold” but the district 4-H “Go For the Gold” team pulled off a fourth-place showing during the provincial trivia competition held Nov. 3 during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

“The team did very well. In the preliminaries, they were tied for second,” team coach Joanne Neilson said Monday.

“Unfortunately, after how the semi-finals went, we ended up fourth,” she added. “I was kind of disappointed with the scoring system. They just went by the total scores.”

The annual competition was won by South Simcoe, followed by Durham East, Frontenac, Rainy River, Heron, and Middlesex. The local team consisted of Matt and Jay Neilson, and Matt McQuaker, all of Stratton, and Jeff Hyatt of Devlin.

South Simcoe captured top honours with 285 total points while the district team managed to garner 260, said Neilson.

“We had lots of good matches—we beat the team that wound up in third,” she said. “We were close. We won our first game.

“Most of the kids we competed against are in university, which can be intimidating. But we really stepped up,” added Neilson. “The judges did mention that [our] district keeps getting better.”

Matt Neilson, who competed with the same team last year (which came in second in the district), said the competition was “a good experience.”

“It was a pretty good. We advanced to the provincials. It was kind of intimidating competing against the older students,” he noted.

Neilson noted contestants were kept on their toes during the matches as questions varied from photography to judging livestock to horticulture, adding all the trivia was different from last year.

“I think I’ll probably take next year off. But when I’m older, like in grade 12, I think I’ll try again,” added Neilson, a grade 10 student at Rainy River High School.

The district team advanced to the provincial finals after topping the regional competition held in Emo back on Sept. 22.

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