The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 29, 2009

Quick Takes on the Top Teams

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris C. @ 5:42 pm

Greetings, loyal readers (all 254 of you since Thursday!). I’ll get back to the hotel shortly to watch the scrimmage rounds and perhaps read a few matches, but right now I’ve sneaked off to a local Denny’s to take advantage of their free internet.

I promised here’s my quick take on some of the teams before the tournament, so here it goes. I’m grouping them into three main categories:

  • “Title Contenders” are teams that are well-established as threats to win and have a consistent record of high-level success; there’s an excellent chance that one of these teams will walk out with the trophy on Sunday
  • “Could Get Hot” teams have all the tools to win, but may not have gelled before. If questions swing their way, these teams could easily be in the thick of things on Sunday
  • “Teams Nobody Wants to Play” are the big question marks. They probably aren’t strong enough to win, but they could easily knock off a few of the top teams at a critical moment

Title Contenders (in alphabetical order):

Georgetown Day School (DC): The one-two punch of Ian Eppler and Matt Jackson makes GDS a threat and they won Maryland’s Spring tournament just a few weeks ago over the likes of Charter (albeit an understaffed Charter), Walter Johnson, and Hunter.

Maggie Walker Gov’s School (VA): This team really came together over the year with their win at the last warm-up tournament over GDS at as well as the VA State NAQT championship.

State College Area (PA): Perhaps the most balanced team with all four of its members major contributers, State College has been at or near the top of the heap in almost every tournament they’ve played this year.

Wilmington Charter (DE): Henry Gorman is a stellar player and winning PACE last weekend has to be a morale booster. However, Charter is certainly not invincible; they’ve lost before to some of the top teams at the Weekend of Quizbowl tournament in March. With so much dependent upon one player, if Henry has a bad game Charter could find itself in trouble.

–Could Get Hot–

Detroit Catholic Central (MI): I’ll admit I don’t know much about them since they haven’t played too many tournaments outside the Michigan area, but they have beaten teams like Stow-Munroe Falls and have a solid record, although they apparently lost the NAQT state championship to Detroit County Day.

Dorman (SC): Although they are one of the most consistent schools (Dorman teams finished 4th at the past 2 HSNCTs; last year their B team actually finished higher than their A team),  they have a tough time getting past the top teams in the nation, although they feast on most Southeastern competition (with the notable exception of crosstown rivals Southside, who always seem to play them tough).

Rancho Bernardo (CA): A couple of very close losses at PACE easily could’ve gone the other way for them. They’ve had excellent results in Southern California, but while many of the East Coast teams have been playing each other close all year long, RB is going to have to get its big-game experience on the fly at HSNCT.

–Teams Nobody Wants to Play–
Stow-Munroe Falls (OH): Ike Jose already has a college title to his name and made his living this year playing on the college quizbowl circuit, but you can’t win the HSNCT without a strong supporting cast and that’s by far the biggest question mark for Stow. Still, if Ike gets going in any given match, this team is capable of knocking off any team here (witness the upset of State College last weekend).

Walter Johnson (MD): Daichi Ueda may be the best player at the high school level and he’s been able to knock off some of the best teams in the country before playing solo. The supporting cast is very thin, but with the right questions, anything could happen. Note that while I think WJ will probably end up finishing higer than some teams I’ve tiered above them, I’m grouping this by how likely I think a team is to actually bring home the title and I just don’t think one-man teams can pull it off (unless they have solid support).

Thomas Jefferson (VA): Apparent team chemistry issues and less-than-incredible results make the defending champions a notch below some of the other more established teams, but there’s no denying that TJ knows its way around NAQT questions; 4 of the past 6 HSNCTS have been won by Thomas Jefferson teams.

Detroit County Day (MI): Like its fellow Detroit teams, DCD is a bit of a mystery but they’re apparently good on NAQT questions. In this case, mystery may be a good thing and I wouldn’t put it past them to upset a few top teams.

Others to watch out for (Time limitations prevent me from explaining all of these):
Chaska (MN)
The Illinois Duo (Rockford Auburn and New Trier)
The Georgia Triumvirate (Chatthoochee, Brookwood, and Walton)
Dunbar (KY)
Bergen County (NJ)
Walt Whitman (MD)
Kellenberg (NY)
California Teams We’ve Never Seen Play and Turn Out Really Good

Note that it’s also entirely possible for a team to come out of the blue and do well since geographically the teams are so scattered that only the top East Coast teams consistently play each other usually as well as some of the midwest. In 2005 for instance,Lakeside (WA) from Seattle stormed into the tournament having only played one NAQT tournament before and finished runner-up to perhaps the best quizbowl team of all time (Thomas Jefferson 2005). Will there be another dark horse this year? We’ll see tomorrow. For now, I’m off to finish writing these questions and getting back to the hotel. Look forward to more pre-tournament updates later tonight.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi NAQT – thanks for creating a blog for NCT! I’m extremely disappointed I can’t be there to moderate/watch this year, so this is a nice way to be kept in touch with the tournament. Best of luck this weekend!

    Comment by Liz F. — May 29, 2009 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

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