Geography Bowl Pits Students
Against Green Bay Crew Members
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
With an 18-inch bobble-head
trophy of legendary Green
Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi
— provided by the Navy League’s
Northwest Great Lakes Area — on
the line, the Spartans of Lombardi
Middle School matched wits with
sailors from the future amphibious
transport dock ship Green Bay
(LPD 20) in a cross-country virtual Geography Bowl a week before
the Super Bowl.
In the end, it was the sailors
who walked away with the trophy,
eking out a win by 201 points,
21,500-21,299, in the contest that
tested geography knowledge in a
format similar to television’s
“Jeopardy” game show.
However, the Green Bay crew has
asked the middle school to hold the
trophy for safekeeping. Lombardi,
located in Green Bay, Wis., has adopted the ship, which is currently finishing up construction at Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems in Avondale,
La. It is scheduled to be delivered to
the Navy later this year. Green Bay’s
crew is now based in San Diego.
The Geography Bowl was conducted via live teleconferencing,
with the students in the Distance
Learning Lab at Green Bay West
High School and the sailors in a
similar set-up in San Diego.
The event was hosted by Rose
Magnus, ship’s sponsor and wife of
assistant commandant of the
Marine Corps, Gen. Robert
Magnus, who also attended and
was treated to a spirited rendition
of the “Marine Hymn” by the West
Gen. Robert Magnus, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Nancy M.
Croy, principal of Lombardi Middle School, and Rose M. Magnus, USS Green
Bay(LPD 20) sponsor, stand before cupcakes arranged to form the ship’s hull
number. At their feet is the “Lombardi Trophy” that went to the winners of a
Geography Bowl between Green Bay crew members and Lombardi students.
High School band upon his arrival,
according to National Director
William T. Fantry Jr., from the
Milwaukee Council, who represented the Navy League.
Green Bay Mayor James
Schmidt and Dr. Dan Nerad,
superintendent of Green Bay area
public schools, also were on hand.
The Geography Bowl was the culmination of the middle school’s
annual spirit week, which this year
was called “Fleet Week.” Other
activities included lessons planned
around the Navy and Marines, letter-writing to the crew, an essay contest
about the ship and door decorating,
according to Northwest Great Lakes
Area President Bobby V. Ferguson.
Students even went so far as to create
an arrangement out of hundreds of
cupcakes in the shape of the ship’s
Lombardi Principal Nancy Croy
— whose son Skylar, a member of
the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps’
Flatley Division in Green Bay, did
the coin toss to see which team
would start the contest — spearheaded the event.
“There’s a lot of excitement here,
and we think this is an outstanding
learning opportunity,” she said.
Ferguson said it was Crow who
asked about having the Navy
League’s Fox Valley Council buy the
Lombardi trophy. However, because
the council has been largely inactive
for two years, the Northwest Great
Lakes Area went ahead and purchased it, he said.
Ferguson hopes the Geography
Bowl, and the commissioning of
Green Bay in the city later this year,
will help spark a resurrection of
the Fox Valley Council.