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South Charleston Quiz Bowl team has many experts

Between the six kids on South Charleston High School's Quiz Bowl team, there's a lot of useless knowledge.

Somebody knows a lot about ancient medieval history, someone else about mythology. One guy can answer any kind of sports question; someone else understands science and math.

Put all that so-called useless knowledge together, though, and you have a winning combination.

The team won the state Quiz Bowl championship last month, beating out Quiz Bowl teams from around the state. Coach Dave Hughert said it was the first time in "quite a while" that South Charleston had taken the title - certainly the first since he took charge of the group five years ago.

But since then, Hughert has been steadily building his team, coaching them, preparing for a big win. They've placed in the state competition before, but lower on the board. By this year, Hughert had a core group of six senior students who had been on the team for at least a year - all of whom were itching and ready to win.

"You feel a kind of vindication," said Mathew Massie, the team captain. "We worked really hard to get there."

In some cases, building the team meant going after talent. Isabella Sanchez, another senior and one of only two girls on the team, (the other is senior Kylie Joins) joined when she was approached by some of the other team members in class. She said it suits her better than sports and complements her work in school.

"It's kind of a give and take," Sanchez said. "There will be events that you covered in history class and then have questions about, or the other way around. . . . It's kind of a two-way thing."

Adam Richardson, another senior, was also recruited to the team, mainly because of his strength in math and science. The team needed someone good in those subjects. He also likes music and can answer lots of questions about that too, but he's a commodity because of his math skills.

Christopher Shreber-Davis helps him with math and science questions some, but he's the guy that picks up every sports question and answers it correctly - even though there are usually only a few in every game.

But in a match like this one, where a broad knowledge base is king and competitors have to know a little bit about everything, an expert in anything is a boon to the team.

That's why Brandon Brown, who has been in the club for three years, likes it so much.

"It's just a good way to be in a community of people who appreciate intellectual conversation," he said.  

Contact writer Shay Maunz at or 304-348-4886.


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