Fort Zumwalt West
|Fort Zumwalt West (MO)|
| Location: |
Fort Zumwalt West is a high school located in suburban O'Fallon, Missouri (located approximately 30 miles to the west of St. Louis across the Missouri River). Its Quiz Bowl team, the Scholar Quiz team, was coached by Mathematics teacher Jeremy Gibbs through 2010 and has been consistently successful in MSHSAA format competition, reaching the MSHSAA State Championship in 2005, 2006, and 2009 and taking 4th place at the 2006 and 2009 Championships.
The team has been effectively disbanded as a result of Gibbs' resignation because a replacement coach has never been found, despite the fact that rising senior Dylan Becraft is one of the most talented players in Missouri.
Fort Zumwalt West's Scholar Quiz team has consistently been one of the top teams in the St. Louis area.
1999 - 2000
The program was started in the Fall of 1999, the school's second year, by mathematics teacher David Brothers and initially consisted of 12 members. The team competed in a Fort Zumwalt School District scrimmage in February defeating Fort Zumwalt South, but losing to Fort Zumwalt North. In district competition, the team went 1 - 2 (275 - 230 vs. Rock Bridge, 255 - 275 vs. Jefferson City, 180 - 310 vs. Washington) and freshman Joe Quinlisk was named to the All District team. The team's record for the season was 2 - 3.
2000 - 2001
The Fort Zumwalt West program's second year also saw the school's first graduating class. The program grew to 20 members, including two seniors. For the first time in school history, the team participated in the Two Saints Conference which was comprised of eight St. Louis metro area teams. The varsity team surprised all by finishing third, earning the school's first ever trophy by finishing 5 - 3 during the preliminary rounds and 2 - 1 in the playoffs.
During district play, the team finished 1 - 2 (no scores available). Francis Howell Central won the district title, overcoming Fort Zumwalt West, Fort Zumwalt South, DeSmet, Francis Howell, Francis Howell North, and Parkway Central, while Parkway North, Marquette, and Fort Zumwalt North did not attend. Fort Zumwalt West sophomore Joe Quinlisk and senior Amy Freestone were both named to the All District team. The team's record for the season was 11 - 8.
2001 - 2002
Although Mr. Brothers departed to teach at Fort Zumwalt Hope High School, the district's alternative school, the program grew to 23 members. During the Two Saints Conference, the team went 4 - 4 during the preliminary rounds and placed 7th before winning its first two playoff games and losing to Parkway Central in the championship game.
In the first ever Gateway Athletic Conference tournament, the team finished third with a 1 - 2 record. Junior David Rose finished second individually with an average of 8 questions per game. Francis Howell Central won the inaugural event, defeating Fort Zumwalt West, Fort Zumwalt South, and Wentzville Holt in round-robin play.
In district play, the team finished 1 - 2. Parkway Central, led by Chris Ottolino, won the district tournament averaging 22.4 questions per game before going on to finish second at state in 2002, losing to Central (Cape). Junior Joe Quinlisk was Fort Zumwalt West's top scorer at Districts, averaging 7.75 questions/game and placing fourth individually. As a result, he was named to the All District team. Overall record: 8 - 9.
2002 - 2003
This was the first year the team was coached by mathematics teacher Jeremy Gibbs.
The Fort Zumwalt West team advanced to the 2004 MSHSAA State Tournament, but failed to advance to playoffs after being going 1-2, being defeated by Nixa and Liberty and defeating Helias. Team member Megan Atchley was a member of the All State team as the sixth overall scorer.
Fort Zumwalt West was one of the top teams in the St. Louis area during the 2005-2006 season, placing fourth at the 2006 MSHSAA State championship after defeating Francis Howell Central at Districts on the last question and placing second at the 2006 Gateway Athletic Conference to Francis Howell Central. Team top scorer Teresa Kilmer was an All District and All State player.
Fort Zumwalt West remained an effective team during the 2006-2007 season, though the placement of Kirksville in its district prevented it from advancing to state again. The team placed second at Districts.
Fort Zumwalt West was led during the 2007-2008 season by its A team consisting of Julia Price, Becca Genet, Andrew Myers, and Jason Whitely. The team placed second at the 2007 Two Saints Conference, 4th at the 2008 Washington High School Scholar Classic, in the top 8 at the 2008 Warrenton Tournament 4th (tied with Howell Central) at the 2008 Helias Tournament, and 2nd at the 2008 Gateway Athletic Conference. Notably, this year was the site of a competitive rivalry between FZW team captain Julia Price and her friend Charles Hang from Francis Howell Central.
2008 - 2009
In the 2008-2009 season, the Fort Zumwalt West team led by senior Julia Price placed third at the Two Saints Conference featuring schools throughout the St. Louis area, as well as second at the Hancock High School tournament. It also placed within the top 8 at the DeSmet High School tournament, and 2nd at the Washington High School Scholar Classic and like rival Francis Howell Central placed within the top 8 at Washington University's WUHSAC XI. Several weeks after WUHSAC, Fort Zumwalt West achieved one of its few first place victories at the 2009 Warrenton Tournament, before coming in tied for 8th at the 2009 MS&T Spring Tournament after facing a preliminary bracket which featured top teams 2009 Francis Howell Central, North Kansas City, Liberty, and Savannah, which finished 1st-3rd and 5th at the tournament, going 1-3 after team captain Julia Price went on a scoring rampage against Liberty. The team was then felled yet again by Francis Howell Central  Fort Zumwalt West also took second in the 2009 Gateway Athletic Conference, losing to Francis Howell Central.
MSHSAA Districts/Sectional/State Tournament
By taking first in its MSHSAA District after defeating Francis Howell Central in a hotly contested and controversial final, Fort Zumwalt West advanced to State for the first time since 2006. In the Sectional round of State competition, Fort Zumwalt West defeated Rock Bridge 2-0 in its best two out of three game, advancing to the top eight. Fort Zumwalt West played North Kansas City, Nixa, and Helias in the preliminaries of the 2009 MSHSAA State tournament on May 9th, 2009, going 2-1 with victories against the latter two teams. Zumwalt West proceeded to be defeated by NKC again in semifinals and Clayton in the 3rd place match, earning its second 4th place title in four years. Fort Zumwalt West captain Julia Price was the tournament top scorer with 49 tossups answered of 250 heard.
2010-2011 - One of the best players in Missouri never gets to compete
Coming into the 2010-2011 season, Fort Zumwalt West was considered one of the most promising teams with rising junior Dylan Becraft improving dramatically, having placed second behind Grant Gates at the inaugural MOQBA Singles Championship in May 2010, and attempting to get FZW to attend more good quizbowl tournaments. However, Jeremy Gibbs decided to stop coaching the team after the 2009-2010 season, and Dylan was never able to find a replacement coach. As a result, Fort Zumwalt West did not participate in any tournaments this season.
Fort Zumwalt West's team is noteworthy for being one of the largest teams in the state of Missouri, fielding approximately 15-20 Varsity players in the fall of 2009 at the Two Saints tournament. The team has achieved this level of popularity in the school through the aggressive recruiting tactics of Coach Jeremy Gibbs. These tactics have given Zumwalt West a consistently deep pool of talented players for the past several years.
Despite this, though, Zumwalt West has, according to 2007-2009 team captain Julia Price, won surprisingly few tournaments other than its Conference and District tournaments. This is probably due to being perenially outclassed by area teams as Westminster Christian Academy, Eureka, and recently Francis Howell Central. FZW's only recent first place showing at a tournament other than Conferences and Districts was at the 2009 Warrenton Tournament, partially because many of the top teams in the area, including Francis Howell Central and Parkway Central, were attending the nearby 2009 NAQT Missouri Qualifier, the date of which the organizers of the Warrenton tournament had not considered before scheduling their own tournament.
Finally, in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, Fort Zumwalt West was known for its strong rivalries with nearby Francis Howell Central and Eureka High Schools. This rivalry resulted not only from the three teams' position as some of the top teams in the St. Louis area, but from the mutual acquaintance of players from all three teams from mutual attendance at the Missouri Scholars Academy.
- Megan Atchley, 2001-2005 (Assumed), All State 2005
- Teresa "Teri" Kilmer, 2003-2007, Varsity Captain 2006-2007; All District Top Scorer (Other Years), 2007; All State 2006
- Julia Price, 2005-2009, Varsity Captain 2007-2009; All District Honors (2008, 2009), All State Top Scorer (2009)