New Orleans Phase 2015
Deep South Rules in New Orleans
Teams from New Orleans, Atlanta, and Birmingham Triumph
Pingry, a Perennial Powehouse
The Lusher team moments after victory
In the 6th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Altamont's A & B teams both advanced to the Final Four. Jesuit defeated Altamont B, and Altamont A overcame Gadsden. Altamont edged Jesuit in the final match, by a score of 265-260.
Altamont A, New Orleans JV champ
New Orleans MVP
Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?
Another edition of our "reality show," WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST? was conducted. Students (graduating seniors) were invited to audition as moderators, and coaches played the game. Students understood the event to be a real audition for a job as one of the moderators at next year's Nationals. This year's winner was Sarah Kennedy Duncan from Jackson Prep.
Washington Phase 2015
EL PASO'S CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL BREAKS ON THROUGH!
Harrison takes JV
Coronado advanced to the last DC Varsity game for the third year in a row. Losing out the last two years -- in
2014, they were edged out by Horace Greeley (NY) on the last question -- this time they won it, a narrow victory
over a powerful West Chester East team. Their road to the final match saw them defeat Yorktown (VA) 455-190;
Jenks (OK) 330-275; and Harrison (IN) 370-260. Meanwhile, East Varsity overcame Smithtown West, 355-280; No. 1-
seeded James Bennett (MD) 335-260; and Saratoga Springs, 390-180.
East Varsity led 55-45 after the first period. But Coronado grabbed the first bonus-round tossup, on "crop rotation," and swept the ensuing EXTINCTION bonus. East Varsity answered a tossup about "Aramaic," and picked up 15 points on the NOVEL QUOTATIONS bonus. Coronado answered a tossup about "Aristotle," adding 15 on the NONFICTION FILMS bonus. East Varsity got "Beethoven" from an audio clue, and took the lead after they swept the MARTIAL ARTS bonus. Coronado answered "Excelsior" on the next tossup but managed only 5 points on the LITERARY CHARACTERS bonus. They led at halftime, 125-120. A perfectly symmetrical 60 Seconds round saw a 90-10 split on both East Varsity's category (MEDITERRANEAN ISLANDS) and Coronado's SAY THANK YOU foreign-language category. Three quick tossups in a row saw Coronado take a 55-point lead on answers of: Lohengrin, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Azerbaijan; and arranging four wars in correct chronological order. East Varsity got 20 points after identifying Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Richie Valens after audio clues. Coronado got 15 on a Trig problem and pulled to within 20 points of the lead after identifying Venus of Urbino. Three unanswered 20- pointers gave Coronado a 355-275 lead: they identified a Roy Lichtenstein painting; a Molecular Biology term, and then their most impressive answer of the game: they got Alexander Nevsky before music from the classic Eisenstein film was heard. East Varsity got two in a row, including the last score of the game, on Current Events: Speaking to Islamic clerics, the president of this country said it is time to "revolutionize our religion." He lamented that extreme interpretations of Islam have antagonized the entire world, and challenged religious leaders to revise their teaching. Of which country is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi currently president? (Ans. Egypt) Coronado won it by a score of 355-310.
The Coronado team moments after victory
West Chester East Varsity
It was a great year for West Chester East, whose JV team advanced to the final DC match for the second consecutive year. Harrison (IN), no stranger to JV or Varsity playoff games, won the day by a score of 245-205
North Forsyth's Justin Ebert won the DC version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.
Coronado's Luke Minton, for the second consecutive year, was named MVP.
A Fond Farewell
Watson Chapel High School (AR) has been a contender at Nationals for the past five years. Coach Ronette Metcalf is retiring. We thank her for bringing consistently competitive teams to Nationals, and wish her the best!
Chicago Phase 2015
BISHOP KELLEY FROM TULSA WINS CHICAGO
First timers Henderson County (KY) entered the playoffs ranked #7, but they defeated John Cooper (TX) 305-240; Houston (TN) 335-290; and Lakewood (OH) 245-235 to advance to the final match of teams competing in Chicago. Meanwhile, Tulsa's Bishop Kelley, seeded No. 1, defeated St. John's (MA) 345-265 and Gehlen Catholic 380-215.
Henderson County vs. Bishop Kelley
Henderson County trailed Bishop Kelley, 35-60 after the first period. Henderson County's sweep of the VOCABULARY bonus helped them achieve a 100-100 tie at halftime. The 60 Seconds Round was perfectly symmetrical, with Henderson County gaining 90-10 on the mystery category THREE-LETTER WORDS, and Bishop Kelley gaining 90-10 on THE ROMAN EMPIRE. A 200-200 tie going into the final period! Henderson County's 20-point scores included a visual question: "Emmanuel Radnitzky was the original name of this photographer who had a major role in Dadaism & Surrealism. By what name is he better known?" (Ans. Man Ray) and Astronomy: "This type of star is named for a constellation of an Ethiopian king that contains the first star of its kind ever identified. What is this type of variable star that Edwin Hubble used as a distance marker to determine that the Andromeda Nebula was a separate galaxy?" (Ans. Cepheid variable) Bishop Kelley's 20-pointers included one on Analytical Geometry and one on nations with the most Muslims. Bishop Kelley won it by a final score of 300-255.
Bishop Kelley's Wyatt Evans was named Most Valuable Player.
Collin McLeod from Houston High School (TN) won the Chicago version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.
The Circle of Death
For the first time ever, this year's three-team double-elimination event took five games:
- $3,000 for Coronado
- $2,000 for Lusher
- $1,000 for Bishop Kelley
El Paso Coronado, second in DC in 2013, 2014 ... Nationals Champs in 2015
We hadn't seen St. Thomas (MN) for several years. Their varsity team made the playoffs every year they participated, and they won it all in 2004. This year, they brought a fine JV team, which advanced to the final Chicago match. They were out-dueled by Daviess County (KY) 330-245. This was Daviess County's second JV national championship. No. 2 in the nation: Altamont, also undefeated. No. 3: Harrison High.
Coach of the Year
Pingry's Malla Godfrey led her team to the national semifinals for the third consecutive year. This year Pingry finished No. 1 in the nation with a 387 points-per-game average.
Rookie of the Year
As a national semifinalist, Henderson County was the obvious choice for top honors among first-timers. Gehlen Catholic (IA) was also an impressive rookie team, defeating Plano (TX) and Detroit Jesuit, advancing to the Chicago Final Four.
At the NAA, we judge teams not only on tournament progress (how far they advanced in the competition), but also on average points, and seldom does a team lead the league in both. Last year, New Orleans Jesuit finished No. 1 in points, at 363, as well as tournament progress. This year Pingry earned top honors in points with a 387 points-per-game average. Coronado finished second at 359; James Bennett and Bishop Kelley tied for third at 341.
The most impressive state at this year's tournament was Kentucky. Anchorage Middle School advanced to the Elite Eight in New Orleans. Johnson County Middle School won DC. Henderson County finished second in the Chicago Varsity division. Daviess County, for the second time, captured the national JV title. Danville Bate and Edmonson County both advanced to the Middle School playoffs in Chicago. With the most Alabama teams ever at Nationals, they distinguished themselves in New Orleans: four of the Elite Eight in New Orleans Varsity div. were Alabama teams -- Bayside, Gadsden, Buckhorn, and Sparkman -- and two of the Final Four were from Alabama. Three of the Final Four JV teams were from Alabama, with Altamont winning out.
Tennessee and South Dakota
T For the first time ever, a South Dakota team advanced to the playoffs. Congratulations to first-time participant Spearfish High School. First-timer Houston High School became the first Tennessee team to make the playoffs since 1985, when University School from Nashville finished second in the nation.
Arkansas Eclipses New York
For the first 17 years, Texas had more teams than any other state at the National Academic Championship. From 2000-2014, New York led the league. This year, Arkansas had the most teams -- 24 to New York's 20. A major reason is that most Arkansas middle schools/junior highs have quiz bowl teams, while most in New York do not.
We crown a champion from among the small schools that come to Nationals (defined as any school with 500 or fewer students in grades 10-12 and a non-selective admissions policy). This year, Gehlen Catholic edged out Briarcliff by advancing to the Chicago Final Four.
Qualifying for 2016 Nationals
Keep in mind that all 2015 playoff teams have automatically qualified for NAC XXXIV. Return to QUnlimited.com in September, when information on our next QuizNet and 3-2-1 events will be posted. We will also provide details on next year's National Academic Championship
Hall of Fame
Induction into the Hall of Fame means joining a very select group. In the past 32 years, only 21 players had made it. This year, Coronado's Luke Minton joined the assembly of immortals. He's the only junior ever to be so honored! Luke was instrumental in Coronado's second-in-DC finishes in 2013 and 2014, was named DC MVP in 2014 and 2015, and this year he led Coronado to finishing No. 1 in the nation
Next Year's Champs?
Yikes! Luke Minton returns in 2016 as a senior. Coronado remains the team to beat in 2016.
Hall of Fame
Induction into the Hall of Fame means joining a very select group. In the past 31 years, only 19 players had made it. This year, two joined the assembly of immortals. Max Smiley led Horace Greeley to the national title in 2013 and to winning DC in 2014. Kevin Yokum was New Orleans MVP in 2013 and in 2014 led Jesuit to finishing No. 1 in the nation.
- Mike Keller (Irmo, SC, '85-87)
- Eric Evans (Granville, OH, '88-89)
- Jim Paluszak (Dorman, SC, '89-91)
- Matt Bruce (Booker T. Washington, OK, '89-92)
- Mark Staloff (East Brunswick, NJ, '94)
- Brad Rutter (Manheim Township, PA, '92-95)
- Brad Harris (James Island, SC, '92-95)
- Amanda Goad (Governor's School, VA, '93-96)
- Scott Petty (Houston Eisenhower '95 and Houston Memorial '96)
- Justin Powell (James Island, SC '95-98)
- Ryan Cooper (James Island, SC '95-99)
- David Madden (Ridgewood, NJ '98-99)
- Jonathan Hess (Irmo, SC, 1998-2002)
- Sara Sheer (Horace Greeley, 2001-2004)
- Matt Pargeter (Holland Hall, OK, 2002-2005)
- Nate Mattison (Byram Hills, NY, 2004-2006
- Fuhe Xu (Harrison, IN, 2004-2007)
- Ariel Schneider (Harrison, IN, 2004-2007)
- Dylan Hames (Booker T. Washington, OK, 2006-2008)
- Alex Pijanowski (Harrison, IN, 2011-2013)
- Max Smiley (Horace Greeley, 2013-2014)
- Kevin Yokum (New Orleans Jesuit, 2013-2014)
- Luke Minton (El Paso Coronado, 2013-2016)
WINNERS OF OUR 33 TOURNAMENTS
- 1983 -- Walt Whitman (Bethesda, MD)
- 1984 -- Wheelersburg (Wheelersburg, OH)
- 1985 -- Skyline (Dallas, TX)
- 1986 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
- 1987 -- Walnut Ridge (Columbus, OH)
- 1988 -- Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD)
- 1989 -- Dorman (Spartanburg, SC)
- 1990 -- Collegiate (Richmond, VA)
- 1991 -- Dorman (Spartanburg, SC)
- 1992 -- Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK)
- 1993 -- Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA)
- 1994 -- East Brunswick (NJ)
- 1995 -- Governor's School (Richmond, VA)
- 1996 -- Houston Memorial (TX)
- 1997 -- Edison (Huntington Beach, CA)
- 1998 -- State College Area (PA)
- 1999 -- James Island (SC)
- 2000 -- Manheim Township (PA)
- 2001 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
- 2002 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
- 2003 -- Horace Greeley (Chappaqua, NY)
- 2004 -- St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN)
- 2005 -- Holland Hall (Tulsa, OK)
- 2006 -- Byram Hills (Armonk, NY)
- 2007 -- Harrison (West Lafayette, IN)
- 2008 -- Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK)
- 2009 -- John Cooper (The Woodlands, TX)
- 2010 -- Zionsville (Zionsville, IN)
- 2011 -- Harrison (West Lafayette, IN)
- 2012 -- University of Detroit Jesuit (MI)
- 2013 -- Horace Greeley (Chappaqua, NY)
- 2014 -- Jesuit (New Orleans, LA)
- 2015 -- Coronado (El Paso, TX)