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Compete off the field 

At Porter-Gaud, we understand that each student is unique in their gifts, interests, and abilities. We offer a wide variety of academic competitions that capture their interests and challenge them to develop their talents. Each team builds community among its members by stressing the importance of collaboration while also sharpening students’ minds through stimulating, challenging tasks that enhance what they are learning in the classroom. Throughout the school’s history, Porter-Gaud Middle School and Upper School students have achieved high levels of success in earning regional and state championships.

Quiz Bowl Earns SCISA State Title

The foundation was laid over three years ago with the first Quiz Bowl players who
attended the initial spring practices with no season at stake. They just wanted to
play. Each subsequent year, the Porter-Gaud Academic Team has matured,
distinguishing itself as SCISA Regional Champions in 2017, 2018, and 2019. When
playing in tournaments featuring the largest state schools with robust Quiz Bowl
traditions, Porter-Gaud now may be the rough equivalent of a ‘mid-major’ and
no longer a surprise ‘on the circuit’. Our short history has been described as
‘precocious’ and ‘full of potential’. Annemarie Thompson, Tillson Galloway,
Caroline Linkous, Eleanor Lee, Becky Van Kirk– just to name a handful of past
captains– helped to establish those successful, fledgling teams. Quiz Bowl at
Porter-Gaud enjoys the luxury of ‘deep’ practices that often ‘max out’ our
buzzer capacity; most of our students are heavily involved in other co-curricular
activities and our meritocracy permits over twenty students to rotate in as best
fits their current schedules. They just want to play. We acknowledge Kenneth
Lynch’s successful Middle School program, from whom we inherit experienced
and passionate players, for instilling a great deal of that inherent desire to

Quiz Bowl can be a fickle endeavor: during one game, a player’s contribution
might be limited only by how fast she can signal; an hour later, the same person
can sit in silence through forty minutes of ‘tossups’ with scarcely an inkling, much
less a dared response. Every experienced player recognizes this competitive
truism. Quiz Bowl, therefore, exemplifies quite the ‘team sport’. The regional
champions reprised their rotation: Seniors Victoria Johnson and Ballard Morton
were complemented by Freshman Ethan Lehrman, essentially our ‘humanities’
specialists; math and science received greater attention from Juniors Luke Flynn
(team high-scorer for the day) and Daniel Newlands (captain). Their collective
experience and erudition permitted round-specific substitutions that culminated
in yet another team ‘first’ for the Fall Season:

On Thursday 24 October, on the last question, by a mere five points
(the smallest possible increment), against a very talented Holy Trinity
Classical Christian School, Porter-Gaud won the SCISA State Quiz
Bowl Tournament. Congratulations. Porter victor!

Posted by Christopher Greenwell, US faculty and team adviser

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