Camaraderie and challenge are the most appealing aspects of team sports, especially when the playing field is an academic arena. As a senior member of Academy Park High School’s Delco Hi-Q team, Malcolm Bevans thrives in this arena. Competing alongside and against not only like-minded, but also some of the brightest minds in Delaware County put the experience among his most cherished.
Sun Valley High School senior Sumaiya Begum concurs, “The most rewarding aspect of Hi-Q is the rush of adrenaline and satisfaction I get while competing against some of the most erudite minds in the competition.” It is not a stretch to say the nation’s oldest, continuous academic quiz competition provides a similar experience for all team members in the twenty-one participating high schools. “Hi-Q has taught me that while individual effort is crucial to the competition, a supportive team can make all the difference in the world,” Begum added.
This season marks the 70th anniversary of Delco Hi-Q and the program’s organizers FMFCU Partners in Education and DCIU are commemorating by inviting Philly-area notables to compete head-to-head with Begum, Bevans, and about ten other Hi-Q All-Stars in a highly publicized celebrity competition on the campus of Neumann University, Tuesday, November 14 at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and begins with a networking reception. General admission is just $10 and must be reserved in advance through DelcoHiQ.org.
Rounding out the student team are Cardinal O’Hara’s Jennifer Eburuoh, Delaware County Christian School’s Danielle Strafford, Garnet Valley High School’s Nathan Katragadda, Haverford High School’s Pryce Davies, Penn Wood High’s Nadia Lartey, Analiese Bush of Penncrest, Andrew Doughan of Radnor High, Ben Hunter from Ridley, The Christian Academy’s Jared Falk, and Matthew Stonebreaker of Valley Forge Military Academy.
The star-studded evening features Fox 29 Good Day’s Sue Serio, 92-5 XTU morning show hostess Andie Summers, Rob Ellis of NBC Sports Philadelphia, 93.3 WMMR’s Casey Boy, John Brazer and Tom Burgoyne of the Philadelphia Phillies, the owner/operator of Philadelphia’s Original Pat’s King of Steaks Frank E. Olivieri, Crozer-Chester Medical Center President Michael Curran, and civic leader Theresa Murtagh—a ringer who participated in Hi-Q during her tenure at Cardinal O’Hara High School in the 1980s. Theresa will also lead the audience in the National Anthem.
“Hi-Q is cerebral athletics,” said Rick Durante, Delco Hi-Q Executive Director. “This sport gives students an opportunity to flex their academic muscle and their schools an opportunity to showcase academic prowess.”
“When college is knocking at my door, I will be prepared thanks to Hi-Q,” said Jared Faulk, a junior at The Christian Academy.
Although highly competitive, Hi-Q inspires a sense of cooperation among schools. During the off-season, several get together to practice since the sport involves as much dexterity recalling and answering under pressure as it does intelligence. Penn Wood High School Senior Nadia Lartey credits Hi-Q for teaching her how to work collaboratively and value everyone’s input. “Whatever my future holds, I will never forget how important it is to work as a team and how we do our best when everyone’s voice is heard,” she said.