Pictured is Morgantown High School Team 1 posing for a group photo with a first-place Academic Showdown trophy.

Morgantown High School Team 1 is the 2024 Academic Showdown Grand Champion. Team members from L-R: Sawyer Rudy, Preston Hetrick, Julia Oliverio, Agatha Dahle and Logan Ross.

Pictured is Bluefield High School posing for a group photo with a second-place Academic Showdown trophy.

Bluefield High School is the 2024 Academic Showdown runner-up. Team members from L-R: Jack Schroeder, Quinn Brown, Liam Dietz, Titus Holcomb and Nathan Yost.

Charleston, W.Va. – Morgantown High School Team 1 from Monongalia County was named the Academic Showdown Champion today following the finale of the 2024 Academic Showdown (Showdown) season at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston. Bluefield High School from Mercer County was named the runner-up.

Since January, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has welcomed more than 90 teams representing 50 high schools from 31 counties to seven regional competitions hosted at college campuses statewide. Due to continued interest from schools, the 2024 Showdown featured the largest competition field to date, an increase from 71 teams last year and 21 teams in 2022.

Throughout this scholastic competition, students were tested on their knowledge of content areas like math, science, history, fine arts, general knowledge, pop culture and more through intense, fast-paced rounds of questions. Teams consisted of students in grades 9-12.

“Celebrating this as we celebrate sports brings more awareness to academics and encourages other students to join academic events,” said Morgantown High School Team 1 Captain Sawyer Rudy.

“Of course, with the competition being very new, we were very excited to be able to compete and hopefully do well. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet new people, have fun answer trivia and potentially win some prizes or get recognized for our academic ability,” said Bluefield High School Team Captain Nathan Yost.

Microsoft® provided prize money for the top three teams, the tournament most valuable player (MVP) and the all-tournament team (comprised of the five best-performing players). The WVDE also provided grants to each participating school to support their Showdown program. Awards included:

  • Morgantown High School Team 1, Monongalia County: each team member received $2,000.
  • Bluefield High School, Mercer County: each team member received $1,000.
  • Wheeling Park High School, Ohio County: each team member received $750.
  • Team Alternates are awarded half of the amount according to their team’s final standing.
  • Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP): $1,000.
  • All-Tournament Team: each team member received $325.

Sawyer Rudy, Morgantown High School, was named the Academic Showdown MVP.

All-tournament team:

  • Simeon Schray, Huntington High School
  • Steven Tian, Morgantown High School Team 2
  • Preston Hetrick, Morgantown High School Team 1
  • Nathan Yost and Quinn Brown, Bluefield High School

“The Academic Showdown has been a game changer over the past three years,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “The excitement continues to grow along with the participation among our schools. Some of the scholars have participated every year because this program challenges them with rigorous competition. It has been a thrill to watch.”

The regional competitions brought scholars and their families to several college campuses, allowing them to explore post-secondary opportunities and observe student life more closely. Today’s finale event at the Culture Center honored the commitment of educators, students and families with a parade of the finalist teams, festive décor, cheerleaders, a live pep band and more.

The 2024 Showdown schedule included:

Event Location
Regional 1 Marshall University
Regional 2 West Virginia University
Regional 3 Shepherd University
Regional 4 West Virginia State University
Regional 5 Fairmont State University
Regional 6 Concord University
Regional 7 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Logan Campus)
Finale West Virginia Culture Center

The Showdown is a partnership between the WVDE, the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, WVPB, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

To see 2024 Showdown season highlights, visit the WVDE website.

Event photos can be viewed in the WVDE’s Flickr album.

Follow the WVDE on: