The first ever Governor’s Cup Challenge in WGBH’s High School Quiz Show will pit Massachusetts state champion North Quincy High School against New Hampshire's champion, Plymouth Regional High School, in a program that will air Sunday evening.
Making it to the final show, which has already been recorded, was thrilling for all involved in the process at North Quincy High, which won the state title against Lexington High School.
“It was nice being rewarded for hard work. It was nice, seeing the kids recognized and their hard work was being paid off,” said Mera Kriz, one of the team’s coaches.
North Quincy competed against more than 90 teams in the initial written-question round of the competition to qualify as one of the top 16. From there, the school went on to defeat Hopkinton High, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, and finally Lexington to secure the top state spot.
“As they were winning, they were getting more excited,” said coach Danielle Fernandez. “At first it was us nagging them [to practice], and in the end it was them pushing us, 'Let's do it again tomorrow.' ”
Fernandez said it has been a lengthy process to prepare even for the initial round, with a lot of team-building exercises coupled with practice answering questions with buzzers.
“We received a grant and were able to purchase a set of buzzers which is similar from what the use on the show and some software recommended by WGBH…[which had] thousands of questions that were similar to the kind of questions [asked in the competition],” she said.
Yet much of the preparation to get to the final round of the competition came from ayears of learning, coupled with a natural talent for remembering random tidbits of information.
“This is a lifetime of preparation, 100 percent committed to their studies from year to year,” Fernandez said. “We could practice buzzing in, but in terms of the bank of knowledge needed, that’s something they’ve been doing their whole lives.”
The team of six, which consists of four competing members and two alternates, eventually moved on to the first ever Governor’s Cup Challenge, which will air Sunday.
Members include senior Timothy Bill, junior Celeste Dang, senior Cynthia Nelson, and senior Casey Shen. Alternates were Nathan Donahue and junior Yi Fung.
According to Michael Raia, a spokesperson for WGBH, the new round of the competition was a natural progression for the TV game show, now in its fourth season.
“It was an opportunity to celebrate the curriculum-based program in both states and give a friendly competition between two neighbors and have two public broadcasts who enjoy a strong working relationship,” Raia said, referring to the partnership between the two stations.
Raia said the final round will follow the same format as the earlier round of the competition, with questions from the governor prerecorded and fit in, as have been celebrity questions throughout the game show.
“Other than one of the schools being from New Hampshire, it follows the same format as the Massachusetts High School quiz show. It was filmed in WBGH studios and Billy Costa was the host of that show,” Raia said.
The program will air at 6:30 p.m. on WGBH.
For more information or to see North Quincy win the State Championship, click here.