New Orleans preliminary round schedule 2015 New Orleans single elimination round results 2015.
Washington preliminary round schedule 2014. Washington single elimination round results 2014.
Chicago preliminary round schedule 2014. Chicago single elimination round results 2014.
Varsity Teams rankings, listed alphabetically by school name 2014. Meet the Pros 2015

New Orleans single elimination round results - JV 2015
Washington single elimination round results - JV 2014
Chicago single elimination round results - JV 2014
JV Teams rankings, listed alphabetically by school name 2014.

New Orleans Phase 2015

Deep South Rules in New Orleans
Teams from New Orleans, Atlanta, and Birmingham Triumph

Pingry, a Perennial Powehouse

l to zr: Coach Malla Godfrey, Abhiram Karuppur, Greg Cortazo, Will DiGrande, Andrew Verdesca
In a wild Memorial Day, the final matches in each division, Middle School, High School JV, and High School Varsity were not decided until the last question.

New Orleans Lusher Charter School, in only their second year at Nationals, entered the playoffs ranked No. 2, and advanced all the way to the last High School Varsity game in New Orleans. Earlier in the playoffs, they defeated Bayside 370-165 and Gadsden 400-230. Meanwhile, Pingry, seeded No. 1, found themselves in the last game after beating defending champs Jesuit 410-225 and Buckhorn 445-155.

Pingry finished No. 2 in the nation in 2013 and 2014. This year they returned with the same team that finished 2nd in 2014. In this year's last New Orleans Varsity match Lusher led after the first period, 55-40. Pingry, however, owned the bonus round. They grabbed four of the five bonus opportunities. They swept the SELF PORTRAIT visual bonus and the U.S. NEWS bonus, surging ahead to a 160-75 lead at halftime. In the Sixty Seconds Round, a rare double-sweep saw Lusher get all 10 right in the mystery category, which turned out to be Mars; and Pingry answered by running the FAMOUS FEMALE POLITICIANS category. Pingry, then, entered the "Stump the Experts" round with that same 85-point lead.

Pingry extended that lead to 100 after identifying "neutralization" after hearing definitions of the word in Linguistics, Immunology, and Chemistry. Then Lusher erupted, with eight correct answers compared to Pingry's one the rest of the way. Their answers included Temperate rainforest, James Baldwin, Spanish-American War, Local Group, 1.5 liters in a quantitative Chemistry problem, and identifying the Russian language after hearing a choral music excerpt. They still trailed Pingry, 305-315, going into the last question. "Under Texas law, many agencies are to be abolished 12 years after creation. What do we call such a provision within a law that specifically abolishes that law after a given period of time unless expressly renewed by the government?" Lusher answered "Sunset Clause," winning the most dramatic Semifinal game ever, 325-315. They had overcome a 100-point fourth-quarter deficit, also an alltime record. They ended up 9-0. It was the second consecutive year a New Orleans team won the New Orleans phase. Pingry applauded their opponents after the game, an exceptional display of goodsportsmanship.

The Lusher team moments after victory

l to r: Keely Mizell, Zoe Almaraz, Isabelle Donahue, Betsy Hogan, Tiago Beaulieu, Cameron Cinel, Saul Schaffer

Junior Varsity

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

(l to r) Coach Buck Crowe, Vivek Sasse, Asher ____, Robert ___, Lincoln Sorscher, Arjun Lakanpal

New Orleans MVP

Lusher Varsity's Cameron Cinel, 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.

Sarah Kennedy Duncan

Washington Phase 2014


Read on to find out who won
Briarcliff takes JV

Defending champions Horace Greeley from Chappaqua, NY, ranked first of the 22 teams qualifying for Playoff Sunday. Their road to the final match saw them win handily over Harrison, 465-170; Bishop Kelley, 375-270; and East Varsity, 380-250. Meanwhile, Coronado A from El Paso, TX defeated Wilson, 305-245; Coatesville, 395-295; and Briarcliff, 355-250. The last game, then, featured the same two teams that met in last year's DC final. They were also ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, going into Playoff Sunday, a rarity.

This turned out to be one of the greatest games in NAC post-season history. After the “Warm-Up Round, the score was tied at 55. In the second period, Coronado took a 105-60 lead after sweeping the BRIDGES bonus. But the defending champs mounted a 155-105 lead after sweeping the GEOGRAPHY and WINSTON CHURCHILL QUOTATIONS bonuses. Coronado won the Sixty Seconds Round, with an 80-10 advantage on their choice, ALEXANDER HAMILTON, while Greeley's choice, JACKIE ROBINSON proved that neither team knew a great deal about Jackie Robinson, with Greeley getting only two right before using the “stall” tactic after the sixth question, waiving the right to hear questions about Branch Rickey, stolen bases, Pee Wee Reese, and Robinson's role in the movie about his life. Coronado picked up no points on bounce-back. The score at the end of the third period was tied at 185. Coronado got 15 after identifying the Korean War as “The Forgotten War.” They took the lead back on a 20-pointer about the poem “She Walks in Beauty” by Byron. After Greeley identified Brown dwarfs, the score was tied at 270. They wrested the lead again on a question about famous duels. Coronado jumped back into the lead, 290-285, as they recognized the virginal, an early keyboard instrument, from an audio clue. A question about the Central American Free Trade Agreement went unanswered. Perhaps the most crucial question on the game was the second-to-last. “Boswell quoted him when he talked about writing lives instead of biographies, in the introduction to The Life of Samuel Johnson.” After this sentence, Greeley made an uncharacteristic mistake by buzzing early and answering incorrectly. The rest of the question: “This ancient author paired Alexander the Great with Julius Caesar in his series of biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, which were arranged in pairs to shed light on their virtues and vices. Name this biographer and author of Parallel Lives.” Coronado had a chance to put the game out of reach and upset the defending champions if they could come up with “Plutarch”! They could not. Next: “In the nineteenth century, it was known as a Templar cap. It's named for a town in Ukraine which was the site of a battle during the Crimean War. Name this headgear that covers the whole head but leaves the face exposed.” Greeley's Max Smiley rang in and said “Balaclava,” winning the game for Greeley on the last question.

The final score was 300-290. It was a heart-breaker, to say the least, for Coach Matthew Ballway and the Coronado team. David came so close to defeating Goliath!

The Horace Greeley team moments after victory

Josh Turner    Kate Rosenberg   Max Smiley    Andrew Magnotten

Horace Greeley had two players returning from last year – Kate Rosenberg and Max Smiley; Coronado had three: Michael Pannell, Luke Minton, and Andrew Paton


l to r: Coach Matthew Ballway, Luke Minton, Fernando Rojo, Andrew Paton, Michael Pannell

Other Giants

West Chester East Varsity won two playoff games – 425-135 over Genessee Valley and 335-275 over Elkhorn, advancing farther than they have since they won New Orleans ten years ago. Briarcliff also won two playoff games for their strongest finish ever – 315-240 over Yorktown and 375-310 over Buckhorn.

Junior Varsity

The JV final in DC was a classic match between Briarcliff and East JV. Briarcliff's sweep of the WHY? Bonus gave them a 125-105 lead at the end of the first half. In Sixty Seconds, East swept MATH, and Briarcliff took an 8-2 split on HISTORY. That tied the score at 205 going into Stump the Experts. Briarcliff re-took the lead with 15 points on Alibaba. East tied it with 15 points on FARC. Briarcliff picked up 20 points on an Algebra problem, and East answered with a 15-pointer on Newfoundland. Briarcliff basically won it on an Architecture question: “In 1908, this architect devised a plan for a New York City skyscraper known as the Hotel Attraction, which would have become the world's tallest building at 1,180 feet if it had ever actually been built. He’s far better known for his association with the buildings of another city. Who was this designer of Barcelona's still-uncompleted Sagrada Familia?” (Ans. Antoni Gaudi) The final score was Briarcliff 290, East 275.

Briarcliff JV on Their Way Back Home

l to r: Coach Desmond Groarke, Charlie Driver, Karthik Rao, Ryan Klarnet, Feroze Mohideen


Algona's Matt Stein won the DC version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST..

Matt Stein


Coronado's Luke Minton was named MVP of the DC phase of the tournament.

Luke Minton

Chicago Phase 2014

First-Timer Naperville North Takes JV Crown

Two Illinois schools advanced to the Chicago JV playoffs. Riverside-Brookfield (IL) was edged by St. Dominic Savio A (TX), 245-260. In the final game, the Texas team met a juggernaut in Naperville North (IL), a team which had caught our attention with an all-time record 570 points in a preliminary-round game. Naperville North led 60-30 at the end of the first period of the last Chicago game. They then grabbed four of the five bonus opportunities, and after sweeping the NAPOLEON bonus, they had mounted a 185-60 lead. Their 275-140 lead after the third period was all but insurmountable. Their fourth-quarter exploits included identifying Przewalski’s horses as the only remaining truly wild horse in the world; Niobium as the element named for the daughter of Tantalus; and the Yellow Sea as the body of water that gets its name from sand particles from the Gobi Desert. They won by a final score of 410-185. Briarcliff, the DC JV winners, finished with an identical 8-0 record, but Naperville North was declared No. 1 in the nation by virtue of a better points-per-game average. Briarcliff ended up No. 2, and Booker T. Washington No. 3

Naperville North JV
The greatest JV in the history of the National Academic Championship

(l to r) Michael Green, Chris Fu, Jakob Myers, Ryan Ku, Shruti Baxi, Emily Xue, Michael Lin, Coach Katharine Lynch


Ninth Grader Jakob Myers is the greatest JV player in NAC history

Jakob gives due credit to the team mascot, Buddha

Declaring a National Champion


Points per Game Avg. x 8

Field Size x 10

Playoff Opponents’ PPG Avg x 2







Naperville N






Pingry A

(l to r) Hunter Stires, Abiram Karuppur, Will DiGrande, Andrew Verdesca, Greg Cortazo, Coach Malla Godfrey

Plano Senior High became only the second team in our 32 year history to make the playoffs despite having forfeited a preliminary-round match. They had a hot hand on Playoff Monday, defeating Father Dueñas 390-195, No. 1 seed Edgemont A 300-250, and Drummond 415-170 en route to the last game of the Chicago field. Meanwhile, Pingry won out against Madison Central 325-270 and Great Neck North 395-280.

Pingry A vs. Plano
Pingry led 65-30 after the Warm Up Round. They started the Bonus Round by sweeping TIME’S MAN OF THE YEAR. Plano answered by sweeping the ensuing B IN LITERATURE bonus. Pingry led 160-110 at halftime. Plano caught up in the 60 Seconds Round, gaining an 80-10 advantage on ANCIENT ROME, while Pingry had to settle for a 60-40 split on ANCIENT GREECE. The score was tied at 230 going into the Stump the Experts round. Pingry methodically pulled away in the fourth quarter, highlighted by 20-pointers on the return of the U.S. military to the Philippines; listening to La donna è mobile and naming the opera Rigoletto; Maxwell’s Demon; having a look at Woman with Plant and naming the painter, Grant Wood; listening to and identifying an old standard, “Just the Way You Look Tonight.” Plano is a perennial playoff team, but this was their best finish ever. Pingry won the game, 390-300, becoming Chicago champs without a single senior on the team.

Chicago MVP
Pingry’s Abiram Karuppur was named Most Valuable Player.

MVP Abiram Karuppur

The Circle of Death
This year’s three-team double-elimination event took four games:

Jesuit defeated Pingry in the first match, 385-230. Jesuit proceeded to upset the defending champs, 360-195. The closest Circle of Death contest saw Pingry edge Horace Greeley, 320-315 in the loser’s bracket, giving Pingry a second change against Jesuit in the fourth game. In that last game, it appeared that Pingry was heading for a win, which would have forced yet another Pingry-Jesuit game. Pingry led at the end of the first period, 70-25. They increased that lead to 110-25 after sweeping the RECONSTRUCTION bonus. Jesuit then took charge in the Bonus Round, sweeping the TEMPLE and PHYSICS bonuses. Jesuit overcame an 85-point deficit and led 145-110 at the half. There was no net gain or loss in a perfectly symmetrical 60 Seconds Round, as Pingry gained 80-10 on ENGLISH PHRASES IN SPANISH and Jesuit gained 80-10 on TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. In the final period, Pingry scored on these 20-pointers: an Algebra problem; naming Diego Velasquez after looking at a portrait; identifying Qatar on an early buzz. But Jesuit was relentless, and their 20-pointers included correct matching of five stars with five constellations; associating Tristan Tzara with the Dada movement; Victoriano Huerta; and The Great Santini. Pingry was more impressive this time, but they fell short of Jesuit, 375-305, resulting in Jesuit finishing No. 1 in the nation.

Jesuit High, the first Louisiana school ever to win the National Championship

L to r: Jack Caliva, Kevin Yokum, Stanley Dai, Ian Calamari, Coach Ron Rossi

Coach of the Year

Last year, Matthew Ballway led his El Paso Coronado A team to the last varsity game in DC. That accomplishment he repeated this year, losing out to defending champs Horace Greeley in a heartbreaker that saw Greeley win on the last question, 300-290.

Matthew Ballway

Rookie of the Year

The JV and JNAC winners were obvious.  Both teams that won national titles were first-timers – Naperville North and Woodland, respectively.  In the Varsity division, Long Island’s Great Neck North was named “Rookie of the Year.”  In their first time at Nationals, they defeated in the playoffs Bridgewater-Raritan (NJ), 350-200 and then fell to Chicago winner Pingry, 395-280. Congratulations to Coach Jeffrey Gilden and the Great Neck North team.  First-timer Buckhorn from Alabama narrowly missed that honor.  They edged Jenks in the playoffs, 290-275, before losing out to Briarcliff, 375-310.

Scoring Leaders

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, Horace Greeley won the title and also finished first in points, with 408, This year, New Orleans Jesuit finished No. 1 in points, at 363, as well as tournament progress.  Horace Greeley finished second at 358, followed by Watson Chapel at 356, Paschal at 348, and Pingry at 335. This year, New Orleans Jesuit finished No. 1 in points, at 363, as well as tournament progress.  Incidentally, scores can no longer be compared with scores in the previous 31 tournaments because the coaches voted to diminish the importance of the Bonus round by eliminating the 20-pointers, making each bonus 5-10-15.

New York Rules

The most impressive state at this year's tournament was New York, yet again. It was New York’s 14th consecutive year of sending more teams to Nationals than any other state.  Not only did Horace Greeley finish third in the nation, but these Westchester County schools also made the playoffs: White Plains, Briarcliff, Hastings, Byram Hills, Edgemont, Fox Lane.  Two New-York-but-non-Westchester teams also made the playoffs: Genessee Valley, Fillmore Central, Great Neck North, and Saratoga Springs.  A high percentage of the Texas teams participating made the playoffs: Fort Worth Paschal, El Paso Coronado A, Plano, and John Cooper.

Small-School Champs

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’s obvious choice was Briarcliff.  Not only did they win the DC JV field, but their varsity team also advanced to the DC final four.

No. 1 Jinx?
The jockeying for playoff position which happens every year is, as NAC History would suggest, futile.  The No. 1 seed in both New Orleans and Chicago lost their first playoff game: Watson Chapel and Edgemont, respectively. DC No. 1 seed, Horace Greeley, however, ended up winning DC.

Next Year's Champs?

Yikes!  No. 2 Pingry will have their entire team, second-in-the-nation, back next year.

Qualifying for 2014 Nationals

Keep in mind that all 2014 playoff teams have automatically qualified for NAC XXXIII. Return to our web site 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 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.
Kevin Yokum Max Smiley

A Fond Farewell

Retiring coaches who have made a big impact at the National Academic Championship include Kay Baxter from Elizabethtown (PA), Paulette Berger from Zionsville, IN and Diana McGinnis-Fields from Booker T. Washington (OK).

Paulette Berger brought perennial contenders to Nationals, a habit that culminated in a national championship For Zionsville High in 2010.

Paulette Berger

Diana took over for the legendary Andy Zaller and Mark Hames, continuing a tradition of excellence at Nationals that began in 1987 and has continued unbroken to this day.  Her greatest accomplishment was leading Booker T. Washington to their second national title, in 2008; her JV team also won New Orleans in 2014.

Diana McGinnis-Fields

Kay Baxter has brought Elizabethtown teams to Nationals in most years this century.  A perennial playoff contender, her greatest accomplishment was taking the Elizabethtown team to No. 2 in the nation in 2004 … missing a national title by only one question.

Kay Baxter

Best of luck to Diana McGinnis-Fields, Kay Baxter, and Paulette Berger.

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)


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)

Return to QU home page