So you think you have skills?

During the weekend of Apr. 9-12, Aron Ramirez, 12, went to Town and Country, a hotel located in San Diego, to participate in the Skills USA competition and advances to the nationals in Lowville, Kentucky. “It made me feel like a proud papa when all the teams medalled, because I saw that every individuals effort was paid off.”

Natalie Gomez, Arts & Entertainment Section Editor/ Staff Writer

Over spring break, Downey High’s Quiz Bowl team competed at SkillsUSA, in San Diego, California, where they swept the competition winning gold, silver, and bronze medals and qualified for the national competition set to take place in June.


Coming out of a tough loss at the state conference last year, the Quiz Bowl team rigorously prepared for SkillsUSA with the help of team captain Aron Ramirez, 12, and adviser Mr. Armendariz.


“I had that chip on my shoulder coming into this season,” Ramirez said, “so going into this season I set out to train the teams as well as I possibly could because I wanted all of the teams to succeed pretty well.”


Ramirez explained how once he found out that three of his teams qualified for the state competition, he wanted to make up for last year.


“I wanted to sweep the state which is something that has never been done before in Quiz Bowl history for SkillsUSA California,” Ramirez stated.


The Quiz Bowl team members prepared for the state conference by working diligently alongside Ramirez. They had to look over study guides, keep up with current events, and attend lectures on the SkillsUSA handbook to ensure that they were ready for the real deal and so the members would not doubt themselves while competing.


As a member of the gold-winning team with Ramirez, senior Alex Landin knew how big of a deal going to SkillsUSA was for the team.


“When my team won gold, I was extremely happy,” Landin said. “Aron was so proud that he cried tears of joy because this had been his goal since last year after we missed nationals.”


Senior Stephanie Loza is another current member of the Quiz Bowl team and was a part of the team who won the bronze medal at SkillsUSA.


“We made sure that this time that we competed everything was correct, including our attire and our resumés,” Loza said. “We studied so much and I think what really gave us an advantage was that we had gone over the entire SkillsUSA handbook.”


Now that the gold medal winning Quiz Bowl team has qualified for the national competition, that is set to take place in Kentucky, the team members are all preparing together even though they’re not all attending the competition. The team is taking this time to not only prepare for nationals but prepare their other teams for next year’s SkillsUSA competition.


Other Downey High students also competed at SkillsUSA where, all together, they won sixteen gold medals, thirteen silver medals, eighteen bronze medals, and swept in four different categories including Esthetics, Principles of Engineering, Technology and Design, and Quiz Bowl.