PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) — Edison middle school scholastic bowl coach Zach Cain is encouraging his team to “take the moment in,” and for good reason, as they prepare for the state championships at the Peoria Civic Center on Friday.

The seven-man team is like a “little family” and an “awesome bunch,” according to Cain. The team consists of five eighth-graders, one seventh-grader and one sixth-grader, which makes for a substantially smaller roster than they’ve had in past years.

Furthermore, this team is the first scholastic bowl team Edison has ever even had make it out of regionals in their past nine years of existence.

Out of 390 teams that have competed from across the state, just eight remain as Edison attempts to bring home the championship hardware.

According to Cain, this state appearance is also particularly special due to the team finally being able to compete in-person after attempting to go virtual the past two years due to the pandemic.

Cain said that in scholastic bowl, “any given day, anyone can win,” however, he is proud of his team’s historic performance thus far.

Pool play begins at 1 pm for Edison and there are two other matches scheduled later in the afternoon.