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Quiz bowl team headed for Big Easy

WESTPORT - A multi-talented group of Westport students are hoping to take their keen sense for trivia on a trip to the land of jazz and Mardi Gras.

The Westport Central School Quiz Bowl team has qualified for the national academic championship tournament to be held at Loyola University in New Orleans, La., May 31.

The team competes in a league sponsored by the Glens Falls Post-Star, which includes more than 25 teams from schools in Essex, Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties.

"Competing against much larger schools gives them an exposure they don't get in central Essex County," said the club's advisor, Dan McCormick.

Six matches held in Glens Falls earlier in the year determine the top eight teams to compete in a playoff-style tournament held Feb. 3. Westport earned a berth with their superior play.

Though they did not win the tournament outright, the team's performance placed them high enough to qualify for the national tournament. According to McCormick, the last time the club did so was in 1999.

When asked the secret to their success, members of the team credited their ability to have fun together, as well as the learning environment in which they've been brought up.

"Just being a Westport student, you develop all of the skills you need," said senior Alan Ware, noting the multi-disciplinary approach of school faculty. "All of my teachers just put it together in a conglomerate that makes for a wide base of knowledge."

That eclectic knowledge comes in handy for quiz bowl questions, which can range from academic subjects like math, science, and history to current events, sports and pop culture.

While some members of the team have certain strengths, said Devin Martin, they are generally well-rounded in their knowledge of various subjects. That's exemplified in their multiple interests and activities.

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