How Good is Pleasant View?

f you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have answered it like this: ‘Well, Esther Tobias is a solid quizzer and if Mr. Raynes’s kids get as good at quiz as they are at music, watch out!’ But that was because when we spoke of Pleasant View a few years ago, we were speaking of Pleasant View South Carolina. But when asked the same question today, my answer would definitely be about a program that as one message board poster penned “has put McQuady, Kentucky on the map.” Pleasant View KY got some pointers from their friends to the south and ran with it. The first couple of years, Pleasant View showed that they had the passion and grit to be a successful quiz team. Their lack of experience and depth kept them from ever making a great run at a national tournament, but they seemed to get better at every tournament. After a few years of solid quizzing, PVKY needed one more ingredient to reach the top echelon of quiz. Enter Aaron and Autumn Wells. When Aaron showed up in Athens for his first New Year’s Classic, he immediately got the attention of many present. His sharp suit and tie, combed-back hair, and eye glasses prompted some of my Athens teammates to call him “TJ”.

I know you’re wondering what “TJ” means and since the story makes me sound good, I’ll gladly tell! My 9th grade year at ACS (my first year), I dressed up as a cowboy for spirit week. Our math teacher, Scott Crawford, affectionately (well knowing him, it probably wasn’t affectionately) referred to me as “tex.” I was still relatively new to the school and the name “tex” caught on immediately. Some current quizzers at Athens would probably tell you that my name is actually Tex Poston. So back to why Aaron was called “TJ.” I was well known for suits and ties, having my hair combed back, and wearing glasses. So Aaron was called “tex junior” for a brief period of time. Soon after we saw how well Aaron quizzed, “tj” started being called “aaron” (apparently our quiz styles were different…ok, he was better than I).

Aaron and Autumn were those type of quizzers that cause people to ask, “what grade are they in?” When we didn’t see them quiz at nationals with PVKY we knew they weren’t even in high school yet. Then when Aaron joined the high school team, the program took off. With some solid quizzing from Josh Voyles and others, Aaron provided a strength that PVKY had yet to show: a strong ability to memorize and quiz. Some are really good quizzers. Some are better at memorizing but can’t get the art of quizzing down. Aaron had both. And the scary part: his sister, Autumn, looked to be nearly as good as Aaron was.

By the end of Aaron’s freshman year, we Bible Quiz spectators couldn’t wait for Autumn to join her brother on the high school team. It was a foregone conclusion to us that this duo would lead PVKY to a national championship before they graduated. As we got our first look at the ‘06 team in January of last year at the ’06 Athens New Years Classic, it could quickly be discerned that this team was really good. Not really good in a couple of years; Not really good in a couple of months; They were good immediately. The addition of Autumn to their nationals team was a scary thought for the competition.

After that showing at the 2006 Athens NYC, some of us thought they might actually have enough fire power to beat defending national champions FBCCF and star quizzer Abby Carbonell at AACS nationals. As Pleasant View continued to look sharp through February and March of that year, they became many people’s favorite to win Nationals. My personal opinion was that no team in this era of quiz would be strong enough to win both SCQANIT and AACS nationals back to back. After Pleasant View outlasted the field at SCQANIT, I had my doubts on whether they would be able to pull out an AACS win or not. But they didn’t disappoint. In fact, no one even gave Pleasant View a middle in either tournament that week. With Aaron and Autumn back for two more years together, the future looked bright for Pleasant View.

Though Pleasant View had lost some quizzers after the ’06 season, both key components returned in the form of the Wells duo. One of the coaches at Heritage Mission (NY), Mr. John Ludlow, said it best, “These two are arguably the best two quizzers in America and to have them both on the same team creates an incredible challenge for the rest of quizzingdom.” He added, “The good news is that we all have the answer book in our hands. The bad news is that the Wells young people have it in their heads.” PVKY entered 2007 as the favorite to repeat as national champions. Even’s craziest correspondent Jesse Startup (laugh Jesse, I’m only kidding, well kinda) was able to shake his Florida bias to see that PVKY was the clear cut favorite. Here’s a statement of his from December: “Don’t get me wrong even for a second. There has been no equally dominating team than Pleasant View Kentucky of 2005-2006. They made a clean sweep through our Big Four tournaments, won Nationals rather convincingly, and they DID win the Midseason this past October. And now, with First Baptist Church of Central Florida losing its top quizzer, someone could make the argument that until Aaron graduates, Pleasant View is simply untouchable and anyone who’s trying to succeed in Bible Quizzing should shoot only for 2nd place. And in many ways, that argument holds water.” You can read his entire article at

With a full head of steam, PVKY entered the ’06-’07 season hoping to build the beginning of a ‘dynasty’!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.