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Hempfield High School takes first place in PA State Academic Championship

Harrisburg, PA – Some of the brightest minds from Pennsylvania’s high schools gathered in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building to showcase their academic skills at the 2019 Pennsylvania State Academic Competition on Friday, April 26. Hempfield High School proved to be the top competitor, after advancing through the semi-final rounds and clinching the championship win against Great Valley High School and West Chester Henderson High School. 
 
During the competition, hosted by Representative John A. Lawrence and sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), students answered a variety of challenging questions from categories including literature, science, American history, world history, potpourri and contemporary events. 
 
After a full day of matches, Hempfield High School came in first, followed by Great Valley High School and West Chester Henderson High School, respectively. Final score: Hempfield – 95, Great Valley – 70, West Chester Henderson – 55. Event sponsor PSEA underwrote the first-place $2,000 scholarship as well as two $500 scholarships for the second and third place teams. Additionally, all three teams in the championship round are eligible to advance to the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LCC (NAQT) on May 24 - 26 in Atlanta, GA.
 
When asked about their win, Hempfield team captain Will Yaeger expressed excitement, saying, “It feels so good to win”! Adding, “We play Quiz Bowl locally and we practice every now and then as a team and do individual studying as well. We also play tournaments on the weekends in our region. It’s a great activity and the entire team is excited to have the chance to compete.”
 
“All of the students who participated in the state academic competition are already champions. They earned their position in the state competition by winning local and regional matches in their home counties,” said Jay Stone, Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) special events coordinator. “I would like to congratulate all of the participants, as they represent the brightest, most dedicated academic competitors in the Commonwealth."
 
John Frick, who has been the Hempfield academic coach for 19 years, was proud of the work and time his team put into preparing for the competition. “It’s great to win! I hate to have it come at the expense of other great teams, but I’m really proud of these guys. They’ve bonded and they are the friendliest, brightest and most compassionate students I’ve worked with. At the same time, when it’s time for business, they focus without making the win or lose more important than doing their best and working together. I’m so blessed to work with them.”
 
The state competition began at 9:00 a.m. with 20 county academic champions from across the Commonwealth. They competed against one another in a series of matches in order to advance to the semifinals. Each match consisted of two rounds with ten toss-up questions for any of the teams to “buzz in” and answer, as well as six fanfare questions, which are to be answered in rapid succession within 60 seconds. Nine teams earned a spot in one of three semi-final matches. The winner of each of those matches advanced to the championship game. 
 
Each of Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units is permitted to send one high school academic team to participate in the competition. 
 
For the eighth year in a row, the Honorable John A. Lawrence of Chester County hosted the Pennsylvania Academic Competition, which is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit and sponsored by PSEA.
 
The Chester County academic teams will be recognized at the Chester County Champions awards banquet hosted by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union on Thursday, May 16. At the banquet, Franklin Mint will honor the teams, as well as the Chester County All-Star Team, the Chester County Coach of the Year and the Chester County Competitor of the Year.
 
For a full list of scores and more information, visit www.cciu.org/PAStateComp.