17 Missouri Quiz Bowl Teams En Route To Chicago For Small School Nationals

Missouri’s quiz bowl teams are aiming for another successful weekend in Chicago, as they will compete in NAQT’s Small School National Championship Tournament.

17 quiz bowl teams from across Missouri are on their way to Chicago for the gathering of the nation’s top small school teams.  That’s the most from any state at this year’s contest, and those teams received a send-off this morning from Dr Margie Vandeven, commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Missouri’s 17 teams in the field include five from our area:

Canton is one of five Missouri schools making their first-ever trip to nationals.  The Tigers were the top-finishing Missouri school at Culver-Stockton’s invitational tournament in November.  They also finished 6th at Scotland County and 13th at Palmyra.  Junior Avery Uhlmeier and senior Emma-Leigh Gosik helm the Tigers.

Centralia won the Clarence Cannon Conference in March and the Roadrunner Scholastic Tournament in January at State Fair Community College, behind strong performances from seniors Susanna Nix and Joshua Dishman.  The Panthers finished 21st at last year’s SSNCT.

Clopton finished runners-up in the Eastern Missouri Conference and placed fifth at Schuyler’s Winter Invitational Tournament.  The Hawks are led into their first SSNCT by Chris Ferguson and Finn O’Brien.

Hallsville makes their seventh trip to SSNCT, and will also compete at NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament next month in Atlanta.  Senior Luke Ketchum and sophomore Thomas Herbold are looking to improve on Hallsville’s 13th place showing at last year’s tournament.

Southern Boone again brings a young squad to SSNCT, with sophomore Max Rice being their main scoring threat.  Captained by senior Zoë Clark, the Eagles finished second to Hallsville in the Tri-County Central, while also taking part in quads around the region.  Southern Boone finished 48th last year.

All five teams will compete in the Traditional Public Division, which consists of 88 teams.  The rest of the state’s contingent includes:

Bayless finished fifth at Mizzou’s fall tournament and ninth at the Sullivan invitational.  Sophomore Elmedin Karamovic and junior Brie Bradford lead the Bronchos.

Butler finished fifth at the Roadrunner Scholastic Tournament to qualify for SSNCT.  Senior leadership is evident on the Bears’ lineup with Noah Lentz, Alisa Oates, and Oliver Oates all starting.  However, freshman Easton Woolace has also seen significant playing time.

Clever is the only team from Missouri bringing two squads.  Senior Karli Hedge will lead the Bluejays’ A team, who posted second-place finishes this season at Houston, Strafford, and the Mid-Lakes Conference tournament.

College Heights Christian of Joplin is one of four teams in the field still alive in the MSHSAA State Tournament series, and the only team from Missouri in the 55-team Open Division.  Junior Braxton Davis led the Cougars to a tournament title at Springfield Kickapoo and the Ozark 7 Conference crown, as well as third-place finishes at Clever and the NAQT Missouri Qualifier at Columbia College in March.

Eldon is one of three teams from the Tri-County Central in the field, and will see their season conclude this weekend in Chicago following their quarterfinals loss Tuesday to College Heights.  Seniors Gabe Behrendsen and William Eaton lead the Mustangs, who finished second at Houston’s spring tournament and advanced to the playoff pool of the Outstate Missouri Academic Rendezvous earlier this month in Moberly.

Defending SSNCT champions Fair Grove will be without their top two scorers from last year’s dominant campaign following their graduation, but the Eagles are continuing to build on the legacy left by Christian Allen and Braden Booth.  Charlie Harp captains the Mid-Lakes Conference champions, with critical support from senior Nate Waggoner and sophomore Aidyn Owings.  The Eagles kicked off the season with the Houston Fall tournament title, then followed up with a fifth-place finish at Clever and third place at Strafford.  Fair Grove’s defense of their Class Four state title is also active.

Lafayette County is one of four teams who parlayed their performance from the Roadrunner Scholastic Tournament into a bid to SSNCT, finishing 10th in Sedalia.  The runners-up in the Missouri River Valley Conference are led by a pair of freshmen, Harper Hayes and Marshall Ridinger.

Lathrop is back at SSNCT for the first time since 2017, having won the KCI Conference tournament.  The Mules also claimed top-four finished at Smithville and the Lee’s Summit Tiger Varsity Tournament, against much larger competition in the Kansas City metro.  Seniors Jesse Moore and Elijah Coats lead the Mules.

Skyline finished third at their last-ever Mid-Lakes Conference tournament appearance, as the Tigers will move to the Southwest Conference next year.  Skyline finished third at Kickapoo and seventh at the Roadrunner, and will return all their starters next season.  Elijah Hunzinger and Flint Barker lead the Tigers.

Weaubleau will juggle their Class Two state championship defense with their debut at SSNCT.  The Tigers are led by juniors Tommy Nance and Cole Goodman, and bring with them the Polk County League championship as well as tournament titles from Houston’s Spring tournament and the very small school award from the NAQT Missouri Qualifier.

Winfield won the St Charles County League title in the fall with a perfect 12-0 record, and finished second to Washington in Gateway Activities Conference play.  The Warriors also claimed third at Schuyler’s Winter Invitational as the top-finishing team not from Mexico.  Jacob Harl leads Winfield, with support from seniors Uriah Earl, Daisha Mason and Madison Workman, along with junior Max Renteria and sophomore Joey Spraggon.

Teams will scrimmage this evening, ahead of ten prelim games Saturday.  Teams with a 6-4 or better record will advance to double-elimination playoffs Sunday.

Regional Radio’s Kyle Hill will have updates from Chicago this weekend on our area teams.