Francis Howell Central

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Francis Howell Central (MO)
St. Charles, MO
Coaches Sharon King
Program Status Unknown
School Size Unknown
NAQT Page link

Francis Howell Central High School (or FHC) is located in St. Charles, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis located across the Missouri River . The FHC Scholar Quiz Bowl team has been a perennial contender in Missouri and rose to prominence between 2007 and 2009 as one of the top teams in Missouri under coach Kathryn Keierleber and team captain Charles Hang, tying for 27th at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT. The team is currently coached by Sharon King.

Team History

The Francis Howell Central Scholar Quiz Bowl team has been competitive in Missouri since its inception in both Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Academic Competition and other formats such as NAQT, reaching the State competition in 2000 and 2001 and placing 27th at the 2009 HSNCT.

Before 2003

From its inception to the 2002-2003 season, the Francis Howell Central Scholar Quiz Bowl team was coached by mathematics teacher Margo Hoffmann, who led the team to MSHSAA State competitions in 2000 and 2001.


Hoffmann relinquished the position of Scholar Quiz Bowl coach after the 2002-2003 season because of other commitments. Communications Arts teacher Kathryn Keierleber then became coach in the 2003-2004 season, a position she held through the 2008-2009 season. Keierleber noted that her only alternative was to become Freshman Cheerleading instructor.

Francis Howell Central experienced a slump during Keierleber's first years as coach. The team earned no MSHSAA District titles except for a second place finish in 2004 when the team was defeated by eventual State champion Parkway Central. Nevertheless, FHC remained competitive at the Missouri level, placing well at several tournaments, though it was utterly ignorant of "good quizbowl".


For More Information, See 2006 Francis Howell Central

Francis Howell Central's fortunes began changing in the 2005-2006 season. The team won many tournament victories, including a second place finish by the Varsity team at the 2005 Two Saints Conference and a third place finish by the Junior Varsity team. The team also took second at the 2006 Warrenton Tournament and third at the Washington High School Scholar Classic, and placed in the Top 16 at WUHSAC VIII. In post-season play, the team won the 2006 Gateway Athletic Conference and took second in its MSHSAA district. Finally, the team saw an influx of new talent from the Scholar Quiz Team of Saeger Middle School, which helped the team which take 3rd place in the Junior Varsity Division of the 2005 Two Saints Conference. Several of these freshman players would anchor the 2009 team which would go on to a tie for 27th at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT.

Team Composition
Varsity (Incomplete): Max LaFoy '06, Josh Mugler '06, Peter Creedon '07, Rachel Aubuchon '06, Alex Carlson '08, Tom '06
Junior Varsity: Katie Pulley '08 (Co-Captain), Nick LaFoy '09 (Co-Captain), Charles Hang '09, Lucas Vicars '09, Kevin Robb '09, Landon Vance '09, Hannah Lantz '09


For More Information, See 2007 Francis Howell Central

The 2006-2007 season was disappointing given the successes of 2005-2006. Only one new player chose to commit to Quiz Bowl, George Yu, who became the team mathematics specialist, and the Varsity team placed placed fifth overall at the 2006 Two Saints Conference, though team top scorer Charles Hang was a tournament high scorer. Hang was unfortunately absent during much of the Spring season, hurting Francis Howell Central's competition prospects. The team failed to reach playoffs at both WUHSAC IX [1] and the Warrenton Tournament. Hang did manage to attend the Washington High School Scholar Classic, leading the team in scoring to a first place finish.

Unfortunately, Francis Howell Central's disappointments continued into the post season. The team failed to win the Gateway Athletic Conference and suffered sharp losses to Kirksville and Fort Zumwalt West at MSHSAA Districts, preventing a top two finish

Team Composition
Varsity: Peter Creedon (Co-Captain) '07, Nick LaFoy (Co-Captain) '09, Charles Hang '09, George Yu '10, Lucas Vicars '09
Junior Varsity: Kevin Robb (Captain) '09, Whitney Hupp '08 (Fall only), Anna Ward '08 (Fall only), Katie Pulley '08, Taylor McCoy '10 (Spring Only)


For More Information, See 2008 Francis Howell Central

The 2007-2008 season was one of Francis Howell Central's most successful ever. It was defined by the duo of Charles Hang and George Yu, which led the team to several tournament victories. The team also grew significantly.

The team began the 2007-2008 season by winning the 2007 Two Saints Conference, with Charles Hang as the tournament top scorer and Kevin Robb as a Junior Varsity division high scorer. Unfortunately, Hang's continued absences from Saturday tournaments caused the team to perform poorly at the 2008 WUHSAC and Washington tournaments. However, Hang did lead the team to take first at the 2008 Warrenton Tournament and fourth at the 2008 Helias Tournament, with Francis Howell Central's first B team placed in the top 8 at the latter tourney.

Francis Howell Central followed these successes by winning the 2008 Gateway Athletic Conference. Unfortunately, Charles Hang was absent for MSHSAA District tournament due to the ACT, causing Francis Howell Central's elimination from District competition, thus marking a disappointing end to a successful season.


For More Information, See 2009 Francis Howell Central

Francis Howell Central's Scholar Quiz Bowl team was one of the top teams in Missouri in the 2008-2009 season. Not only did it tie for 27th at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT, but it was successful at a series of other "good" Quiz Bowl tournaments, won every MSHSAA Academic Competition tournament it attended save one, and was recognized in a series of polls.

Francis Howell Central began its season by winning multiple MSHSAA Academic Competition tournaments, including the 2008 Two Saints Conference [2], and Hancock and DeSmet Tournaments [3] [4]. After this series of tournament victories, the entire team chose to forgo attendance in additional MSHSAA tournaments to focus on "good" tournaments.

The team's first "good" tournament of the season was already a perennial destination, WUHSAC hosted by Washington University in St. Louis, where the 2009 team placed in the top 8, FHC's best performance ever. After WUHSAC, the team took 3rd at the 2009 NAQT Missouri Qualifier and first at the 2009 Missouri S&T Spring Tournament[5], each time defeating reigning state champion North Kansas City. [6] [7] In doing so, FHC earned its first ever bids to attend a national tournament by earning bids to both the 2009 NAQT HSNCT and 2009 PACE NSC.

In late March, the team took first at the MSHSAA format 2009 Gateway Athletic Conference[8] championship. In recognition of its talents, Francis Howell Central was highly ranked in a series of polls on the Missouri Academic Competition Message Board. However, the team failed to advance to MSHSAA State competition due to the poor questions supplied by Questions Galore, the team's placement alongside powerhouse Fort Zumwalt West in its district, and questionable judgment calls in the final District match between FHC and FZW.

Francis Howell Central did get to shine on a national stage with its attendance at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT, where the team tied for 27th after going 7-3 in preliminaries and 1-2 in playoffs. The Francis Howell Central team was the only one of eight Missouri teams to reach the playoffs and team captain Charles Hang was a tournament All-Star after coming in 25th in individual rankings.

Finally, the 2008-2009 season was Kathryn Keierleber's final season as coach. Keierleber announced her retirement at the end of the year, citing an increased workload and other commitments.


The 2009-2010 Francis Howell Central Scholar Quiz Bowl team was coached by Gifted Program Facilitator Sharon King. Though the team went through a rebuilding phase, it saw some successes. In the Fall Semester, the team not only took second place in the St. Charles division of the 2009 Two Saints Conference, but it also did well at the inaugural Spirit of St. Louis Warmup, placing sixth of eighteen teams.

The Francis Howell Central team continued its performance as a strong second tier team in Missouri in the Spring Semester. At WUHSAC XII hosted by Washington University in St. Louis, the team went 3-2 in its preliminary bracket, coming in second to Ransom Everglades before being defeated in the round of 16 by Clayton A. [9][10] The team also managed to take first in its preliminary bracket at the 2010 Villa Duchesne Invitational, defeating Villa Duchesne before going 1-6 in its playoff bracket. [11][12]

Unfortunately, funding issues prevented the FHC team from attending the 2010 NAQT Missouri State Qualifier, but the team did manage to attend the 2010 Missouri S&T Spring Tournament, where the team took 3rd, losing to North Kansas City and Parkway Central. [13] FHC's failure to earn a Nationals bid at this event marked the end of its attendance at "good" tournaments for the season, though as a sign of the growing availability of "good" events in Missouri, the team managed to attend as many "good" events in the 2009-2010 season as it did in the previous year despite budget issues and a failure to qualify for the 2010 HSNCT.

In post-season play, the Francis Howell Central team took 2nd at the 2010 GAC tournament, losing to Fort Zumwalt West by 20 points. [14] Unfortunately, the team was eliminated in the semifinals of its District tournament by Warrenton 200-180, with Fort Zumwalt West going on to win the District. [15] This broke a four year trend in which no GAC champion ever won its District and occurred contrary to general belief that the only competitive teams in the District were Fort Zumwalt West and Francis Howell Central, though the result was undoubtedly questionable, just like all matches determined on questions from Questions Galore.

Team Composition (Incomplete)
Varsity: George Yu '10, David Lanza '11, Kristina Herrera '10, Blake Hiza, Nic Deckard, Patrick Schrautemeier
Junior Varsity: Adam Rollins '11, Adam Wojciehowski '10, Ryan Pham '12, Neel Kothari '12, Josh McKinley, Patrick Coffey '11

Noteworthy Characteristics

Faculty vs. Team Match

The Francis Howell Central team hosts an annual postseason Faculty vs. Team match to bring greater visibility to the team and promote Quiz Bowl as an activity. The idea was first conceived by 2007-2008 season Co-Captain Charles Hang, and the first ever match was held on May 2nd, 2008, where the Faculty team won a close victory against the Quiz Bowl team 270-220. The second ever Faculty match took place on May 19th, 2009, with the Faculty team winning another victory 320-255 on a set graciously provided by Shawn Pickrell. In both cases, team captain Charles Hang and math specialist George Yu were repeatedly substituted out, a factor which contributed to the defeat of the team.

The third such match occurred on the 18th of May, 2010, using questions written by Charles Hang, Dan Donohue, Jason Loy, and a number of other writers for the 2010 Richland Fall Varisty tournament. The faculty team won yet again, roughly 500-350, in a match noted for extremely high conversion statistics and the absence of computational math despite being on MSHSAA format.


In contrast to fellow St. Charles County school Fort Zumwalt West which is notable for multiple state showings but few tournament victories, the Francis Howell Central team is noteworthy for numerous tournament victories but no state attendances. Even though its 2006, 2008, and 2009 teams were all among the best in the state, a number of factors related to the absence of team high scorer Charles Hang in 2006 and 2008 at Districts and the atrocious nature of the questions in 2009 combined to prevent the team's attendance at State.

In addition, the Francis Howell Central team has a number of inside jokes. The players of the Class of 2009 often answered Sports questions with "Jim 'The Focus' Thorpe" (an amalgam of the name of famous athlete Jim Thorpe and Physical Science Honors teacher Scott Thorpe) because of the team's ignorance of sports. Similarly, the statement "Vitamin Rabbit" brought mirth to them as a result of a famous neg in practice by 2006-2007 captain Peter Creedon, who answered "Vitamin Rabbit" to a question asking for the "vitamin located in carrots which helps improve eyesight." [16]

It is also noteworthy that this article is the longest of its type as the longest on a single school on the Wiki, just like every article written by Charles Hang.


Francis Howell Central was known in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons for its strong, yet friendly rivalry with nearby Fort Zumwalt West and Eureka High Schools. This rivalry was a result of the acquaintance and friendship of players from all three schools with one another due to mutual attendance at the Missouri Scholars Academy. Furthermore, FHC developed a rivalry in the 2008-2009 season with Parkway Central after losing to Parkway Central at the 2009 NAQT Missouri Qualifier and WUHSAC XI and as a result of the acquaintance of FHC captain Charles Hang and PCH captain Will Hack on the Missouri Academic Competition Message Board. These rivalries did not continue due to the graduation after the 2008-2009 season of the main parties to these rivalries.

Noteworthy Alumni

Notably, all three of the Francis Howell Central Quiz Bowl team's noteworthy alumni met one another in competition at the 2010 NAQT Division II ICT. Five of the seven players in the game between St. Charles Community College and Truman State were Francis Howell Central alumni, with the SCC team which included team captain Charles Hang and Jeremy R. triumphing over the Truman State team featuring their former teammate Kevin Robb 280-105.

External Links

Francis Howell Central School Website