The Swanton High School quiz team is heading back to the national tournament. Although it hasn’t been easy replacing two stars from last season, coach Josh Eppert said they have come together as a team.
Swanton qualified for the national tournament by placing in the top 30 percent of teams at a qualifying event held at the Pettisville Invitational on March 3. The 2018 Small School National Championship Tournament will be held Friday, April 27, through Sunday, April 29, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.
Swanton finished 54th last year at the national tournament with a 4-5 record.
The team has not been quite up to the level of last year’s squad, but, according to Eppert, has had a solid season.
“The team has performed well this year, particularly in the Toledo League, where we finished with a 6-5 record,” he said. “The team has been steadily improving throughout the year.”
In the Toledo Area Academic Quiz Bowl League they recorded wins over Toledo Christian, Maumee, Gibsonburg, Notre Dame Academy, Clay, and Toledo Early College.
“At first, we struggled to move beyond the loss of Jarrett Macek and Austin Hill (to graduation), but Everett Payton, who’s played since he was a freshmen, really stepped up and has lead the team all season, both as team captain and in scoring as well,” Eppert said. “Every member has areas that they seem to specialize in, and each has contributed to the growing success of the team.”
The varsity roster includes Payton (senior), Mikayla Rochelle (senior), Haylee Pelland (junior), Seth Rains (junior), Haiden Gombash (junior), Hannah Grabke (junior), and Tommy Chonko (junior).
The team has had help covering the costs for this valuable experience. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a supportive school board, who has agreed to cover all of the costs, and Neil Toeppe from the Chamber of Commerce also said he would contact business leaders in the community to help out as well,” said Eppert.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise