MHS academic team wins national title at NAQT

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Middlesboro High School academic team accomplished something that no other school in the 13th region has, and that is bringing home the title of National Champions in the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT).

The team just returned from Chicago, Ill., where they competed in the 2019 High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT). Earlier this spring the team made it all the way to the state competition, where they brought home the title of runner-up.

“You don’t get to see these kids on basketball courts or out there on the football field, but I just want people to understand that academics is what it’s all about,” academics head coach Richie Rogers said. “These kids have worked really hard to do this, and it’s a special accomplishment.”

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Rogers has coached the academic team for six years and is also the guidance counselor at Middlesboro High School. He explained that when they competed in state that they were up against magnet schools from Lexington and Louisville.

The HSNCT is NAQT’s premier high school event. The tournament is held in Chicago at the end of each school year and features the top quiz bowl teams from across the United States and even now, the world.

Teams qualify for the HSNCT by their performance at regular-season tournaments using questions supplied by the NAQT.

Middlesboro plays in a league called the Southeast Kentucky Academic League, and it includes teams from all around the 13th Region.

He said that anytime the team can win in their league and not lose a game, it’s special.

“That’s kind of the ultimate goal,” he said. “That’s basically our fall season, and that is the league play that gets us ready for Governor’s Cup which then gets us ready for regional and state championships and who knew, but the National Championship.”

If you have any questions about the HSNCT or any other NAQT events, you can contact NAQT at