Return to Headlines

Academic teams advance to March 1 championship

Downingtown, PA – Three high school academic teams will be competing for the Chester County Academic Competition championship after winning their February 10 semifinal matches. The championship will take place at the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) Educational Service Center on March 1 starting at 7:00 p.m., and will determine who will represent Chester County at the state competition.

Devon Preparatory School, Great Valley High School, and West Chester East High School academic teams all secured a spot in the varsity academic competition championship. Three junior varsity teams will also advance to the championship and include: Downingtown High School East Campus, Unionville High School, and West Chester East High School.

In order to compete in the semifinals, teams had to first accumulate the highest number of points during the regular season. Starting in October 2011, 21 Chester County high schools began competing against one another in a "college-bowl" format where students answered a wide variety of challenging questions. The subject areas include literature, math, science, American and world history, geography, and current events.

The Chester County Academic competition, now in its 28th year, is coordinated by CCIU and sponsored by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union.

The February 10 semifinals kicked off with two junior varsity matches featuring the six top-scoring teams during the regular season.

Match one consisted of Unionville, Devon Prep, and Conestoga. Final score: Unionville – 110; Devon Prep – 70; Conestoga – 60.

Match two featured sister schools West Chester East and Henderson, and Downingtown East. Final score: West Chester East – 115; Downingtown East – 95; West Chester Henderson – 65.

Junior varsity rules state that the two semifinal winners and the next highest scoring team advance to the junior varsity finals, meaning that Unionville, West Chester East, and Downingtown East, will all compete in the final match on March 1.

Following a lunch intermission, the top nine varsity teams geared up for their semifinals.

Match one proved to be a close match between Devon Prep, Conestoga, and Kennett High Schools. Sixth-ranked Devon Prep upset first-ranked Conestoga by gaining and maintaining the lead in the final fanfare round of the match. Final score: Devon Prep – 110; Conestoga – 105; Kennett – 85.

According to Devon Prep senior and co-captain James Lockard, there was more behind their extra push to win than just earning a spot in the finals.

“During the regular season, Conestoga beat us by 40 points at our own school,” said Lockard.

“There has been a lot of ups and downs for us this season,” added senior and co-captain Adam Swift. “It’s awesome to be able to advance to the finals. We are focused on getting the championship trophy back to our school.”

Match two of the varsity semifinals would also come down to the final question of the match. This time, fifth-ranked West Chester East defeated second-ranked West Chester Rustin, and eighth-ranked Avon Grove High School. Final score: West Chester East – 115; West Chester Rustin – 110; Avon Grove – 65.

“We knew we needed to answer four of our final fanfare questions correctly to win,” said West Chester East junior and captain Mihir Yavalkar. “I was so focused on the questions that I lost track of how many we had gotten right until I heard everyone cheering for us when we took the lead – that was a rush of excitement.”

The third and final match would be the only match of the day where a top-seeded team would win to advance to the finals. Third-ranked Great Valley defeated seventh-ranked Downingtown East and fourth-ranked Unionville. Final score: Great Valley – 150; Unionville – 105; Downingtown East – 70.

“This season has been fantastic. There has been more dedication and enthusiasm than ever,” said Dan Dore, Great Valley senior and team captain. “We hope to keep this up by continuing to practice and building our team.”

The winner of the March 1 showdown between Devon Prep, Great Valley, and West Chester East will yield one champion who will represent Chester County in the Pennsylvania Academic Competition that will take place in Harrisburg on May 4. West Chester Henderson will also participate at the competition as the state’s reigning champion.

The championship matches can be seen live on CCIU’s Internet television network on March 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. by visiting

For more information on the competition, please click here.