Twelve Conway students are making Quiz Bowl history.
For the first time in recent memory, the school will be represented at the Arkansas Quiz Bowl championship Saturday at Arkansas Educational Television Network headquarters in Conway.
Conway’s Quiz Bowl heroes are Parker West, senior and team captain; Sigan Chen, senior; Vincent SenClair, senior; junior Maddie Stephens; junior Selene Spatz; senior Cody Lewis, and sophomores Mason Shaw, Alex Green, Jackson Vanderslice, Russell Bryan, Zach Orvin and Rebecca Philpott.
The students and their coach and chemistry teacher, Kim Penn, are pitted against Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (Hot Springs) for the Class 7A title.
At the recent Class 7A state tournament, Conway defeated Cabot, Fort Smith Northside, Fayetteville and Little Rock Central.
Donna Whiting, Gifted and Talented supervisor, called the Class 7A division “a tough arena.”
“It’s very hard to get to this point,” she said. “By now, they know the opposing team’s strengths and their weaknesses.”
The team met for a last practice on Tuesday to revisit potential weaknesses, though Whiting said she doubted they had any.
One student used marker board space in Penn’s AP chemistry classroom after school Tuesday to list and review figures of Greek mythology, while others paired up to present each other with potential questions ranging from pop culture to algebra.
“They’re a well-rounded team,” Penn said. “Where one’s strong in science and math, another is strong in history.”
By the coach’s account, these 12 students work well as a group and have a history together.
West said he has been a part of Quiz Bowl since the fourth grade.
“Many of them have been doing this together since elementary and middle school. They have great chemistry,” Penn said.
The team has a host of trophies that they proudly display in Penn’s room.
Team members looked over them Tuesday, remembering each win.
Should Conway’s Quiz Bowl team continue its pace, the team will compete in national tournaments and the winnings could come in the form of scholarships.
A total of 14 teams will compete Saturday in the event to be televised by AETN.
Two rounds, involving seven conferences, are scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and 2-5 p.m.
Conway competes second in the first round of matches starting at 10.
To be in the audience, report to AETN studios at 350 S. Donaghey.
Seating is first-come first-served. Spectators should arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. for the first round and 1:30 p.m. for the second.
The tournaments are sponsored by the Arkansas Governor’s Quiz Bowl Association.