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New Orleans Phase 2017

Campbell County (KY) Wins New Orleans
Paideia and Altamont Triumph

Perennial Contender Harrison High


Left to right: l to r: Jon Hillary, Ben Anthony, Thomas Kennell, Noah Wert, Agustin Garcia, Carl Landskron, Teja Kakani, Jacob Schwartz, Amanda Everly, Kathleen Loftus

Harrison (IN), looking for their third National Championship title, entered the playoffs this year ranked No. 2, behind Bishop Kelley (OK) and advanced all the way to the last High School Varsity game in New Orleans. Earlier in the playoffs, they had defeated Bayside (AL) 380-240, Mahomet Seymour A (IL) 325-255, and Bishop Kelley (OK) 400-230. Meanwhile, Harrison (IN), seeded No. 1, found themselves in the last game after beating defending St. Martin's (LA) 370-255 and Bayside 390-270.

Harrison, always in the playoffs, finished No. 1 in the nation in 2007 and 2011. Last year, first-timers Campbell County High (KY) were named Rookie of the Year. This year, they were defeated by Harrison in their first preliminary round, 290-315. They entered the playoffs with a 4-2 record, but nobody came close to beating them on Playoff Monday, and their margins of victory leading to their rematch with Harrison were 340-170, 440-220, 460-240, 400-275. Harrison they defeated by a score of 370-275 to win to New Orleans and advance to the Final Three in the Windy City.

The Campbell County team moments after victory


Left to right: back row: Joel Sebastian and JT Reagor; front row: Carly Karrick, Nate Asbury, Colton "Grum" Graham, Benjamin Mitchell Turner, Jaclyn Fischesser.

Junior Varsity

In the 8th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Altamont (AL) advanced to the New Orleans finals for the third consecutive year, and they faced the school that beat them in the finals last year, defending national champs Gadsden (AL). This one was a dandy! Close from start to finish, Altamont edged Gadsden 315-300.

Altamont, New Orleans JV champ


Left to right: l to r: Benjamin Tang, Asher Desai, Vivek Sasse, Kuleen Sasse, Henry Chang, Ahad Bashir

New Orleans MVP


Campbell County's Colton “Grum” Graham, 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 Joe Coker from Conway High (AR).


Joe Coker

A Fond Farewell

We’ve known Ron Rossi since 1991. In most years since then, he’s brought a team (or several) to the National Academic Championship. You could count on at least one Jesuit team making the playoffs at Nationals every year, including two in 2017. His crowning achievement as a quiz bowl coach was leading his team to a national championship in 2014.


Washington Phase 2017


Johnson Central (KY) takes JV

Wayzata, having won first in the nation in our “321” competition in 2016, decided to join us at the National Academic Championship for the first time. Their road to the final match saw them enter the playoffs seeded 3rd. They then defeated Buckhorn (AL) 470-230; East Coweta (GA) 370-300; and Woodbridge 470-240. Meanwhile, Chatham (NJ), enjoying their best performance ever at Nationals, beat Fillmore (NY) 455-110; East Varsity (PA) 310-275; and Hastings (NY) 355-235.

Wayzata led 60-30 after the first period. They extended that lead to 175-85 after sweeping both the SOUTH AFRICAN NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS bonus and the HILL bonus, while Chatham swept the EARTH SCIENCE bonus. Wayzata put the game out of reach after scoring 90 points on their 60 Seconds Round category, LITERATURE. They won it by a score of 375-205.

The Wayzata team moments after victory


Left to right: l to r: Joe Kammann, Cara Fragomeni, Tora Husar, Chris Lin



(l to r) Armen Panossian, Felicia Guo, Ameya Phadnis, Yulan Zhang

Other Giants

East Coweta (GA) came closer than any team to defeating Wayzata, falling short 300-375. Woodbridge (NJ) advanced to the Final Four after edging Plano West 305-300, in the closest game on Playoff Sunday. Hastings (NY) made the Final Four after besting Westchester County rival Croton-Harmon, 355-250.

Junior Varsity

Johnson Central (KY) defeated Parkland (PA) in the last JV game 375-175, with a team that would likely have made the playoffs in the Varsity division.

Johnson Central


Back row Coach Bryan Enders, JT Dials, Brandon Fairchild, Austin Cantrell, Coach Shawn Butcher
Front Row Chystalen Stambaugh, Caree Meek, Megan Owens, Jolene Fairchild, Amelia Kretzer


East Coweta’s Paul T. Anderson won the DC version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.


Paul T. Anderson


Wayzata’s Tora Husar was named MVP.


Tora Husar, MVP

Chicago Phase 2017


Perennial powerhouse Detroit Jesuit entered a highly competitive playoff field ranked #3. They edged Lakewood (OH) 335-285 then won out over Henderson County (KY) 415-250 to advance to the final match of teams competing in Chicago. Meanwhile, Zionsville, seeded No. 1, defeated Madison Central (MS) 365-195, then overcame defending champs Daviess County (KY) 390-280.

Detroit Jesuit vs. Zionsville

This was a battle between two schools that had won the National Academic Championship title before. Zionsville led 60-35 after the first period. Detroit beat Zionsville 3-2 in bonus opportunities, and swept the BARRY GOLDWATER bonus, taking a 125-90 lead into the 60 Seconds Round. Detroit expanded that lead to 225-180 after gaining 80 to Zionsville’s 20 in the 60 seconds category of THE WAR OF 1812, while Zionsville scored 70 to Detroit’s 20 on the THREE-LETTER WORDS category. Zionsville outscored Detroit in the “Stump the Experts” round, advancing 20 points apiece by naming the French, Spanish, and German words for water; identifying the Phillips curve in Economics; and recognizing the aria La Donna E Mobile from Rigoletto. The final score was Zionsville 315, Detroit 285.

University of Detroit Jesuit Varsity


(l to r) Coaches Ed Roberge, Dan Hill; Kevin Begic, Nolan Kirkman, Jonathon Spunar, Michael Kellett, Aidan Mitchell, Coach Dan Babcock

Chicago MVP

Zionsville’s Spencer Bures was named Most Valuable Player.


MVP Spencer Bures


Brady West from Berrien Springs High School (MI) won the Chicago version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.


Brady West

The Final Three

This year’s three-team double-elimination event took all five games.
Minnesota vs. Indiana vs. Kentucky!
Wayzata proved the very epitome of team depth. Permitted in the rules, Wayzata came to Chicago with only one of the contestants present during their DC triumph!

Wayzata, the very Model of Depth


L to r, Chris, Ashmita, Michael, Brian

Tied with Campbell County 110-110 at halftime of the first match, Wayzata gained 40 net points in 60 Seconds, advancing 90-10 on their category choice, CLASSICAL MUSIC, while Campbell County advanced 60-20 on PORTMANTEAU BREAKDOWNS.Wayzata won 320-265.

Campbell County then faced Zionsville in a very close game for three quarters. Zionsville pulled ahead in the “Stump the Experts” round, scoring on 10 of the 18 questions, including three 20-pointers – one about physicist Richard Feynman and these two music questions, the latter with an audio clue:

Beethoven’s opens with five soft timpani notes. Brahms's work of this type is dedicated to Joseph Joachim, the soloist who played its premiere. The soloist enters after a couple of seconds in Mendelssohn's E minor work. What are these compositions for orchestra and a certain solo instrument?
Ans. Violin concertos

Which virtuoso had an immense influence on composer and virtuoso Franz Liszt? Listen.
Ans. Nicolo Paganini

Zionsville won 405-275, so only they and Wayzata were left to duke it out until one of them lost a second time.

Zionsville clobbered their opponent in the next game, leading 175-40 after the second period, 315-90 after the third quarter, and 430-140 at game’s end.

Another lopsided Zionsville win was expected in the fourth game to bring an end to the tournament. But Wayzata played them close, trailing only 220-180 at the start of the final period. Wayzata was down 275-245 with only two questions left.

“He gained attention for his home furnishings, among them the “Womb chair” and the “Tulip chair,” as well as his architectural designs. His creations include the “Jetson's Lounge” at Vassar College, and his best-known work allows visitors to ride up in egg-shaped cars up a catenary-shaped structure. Who is this Finnish-American designer and architect?”
Wayzata knew it was Eero Saarinen, and they now trailed 275-265. The last question:
“He studied law at Leipzig, discovered the human intermaxillary bone, and published The Metamorphosis of Plants, a precursor to organic evolution, in 1791. He is best known for his literary work such as the poem “The Sorcerer's Apprentice” and the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. Who was this German Renaissance man?” Wayzata won the game on Goethe!
The next game would decide the championship. Wayzata led 50-30 after the first period. Was a team without three first-stringers actually going to win the title? After a low-scoring Bonus round, Wayzata led 85-80. Zionsville took the lead after “stealing” three questions from Wayzata’s 60 Second choice, MAUSOLEUMS. Most of the fourth quarter questions stumped the two teams, with Zionzville scoring on five questions to Wayzata’s three. Zionsville won the game and the national title by a score of 280-200.



L to r: Forrest Brown, Spencer Bures, Nicholas Taylor, Neil Thompson, Evan Wang

Junior Varsity

Johnson Central ended up winning the JV national championship, the only undefeated squad in the 30-team tournament; Altamont JV, second; Detroit Jesuit JV, third.

Detroit Jesuit JV


(l to r) Christian Egan, Jack Pollock, Sean Stoltz, Drew Basile, Jack Audi, Spencer Wright,Coaches Ed Roberge, Dan Babcock, Dan Hill

Rookie of the Year

First-timer Wayzata High School was named Rookie of the Year, setting the alltime record for farthest advance for a rookie. They finished 2nd in the nation. Mahomet-Seymour (IL) and Shaker Heights (OH) were also impressive, advancing to the New Orleans Elite Eight and the Chicago Elite Eight, respectively.

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, National champ Daviess County also finished first in points, with a 351.5 average. Bishop Kelley finished second in points, with a 339 average. This year, 7-1 Henderson County (KY) led the league in scoring, averaging 380 points per game, but were handily defeated by Detroit Jesuit just before the last game of teams coming to Chicago. Detroit Jesuit, finishing 7-2, was a close second in points at 376. National Champ Zionsville was third in scoring at 368. Campbell County, 8-4, finished with a 353 average, as did 8-1 Bishop Kelley (OK). Chatham A (NJ) averaged 345.

Kentucky Rules

The most impressive state at this year's tournament was Kentucky. Besides having Campbell County finish third in the nation (varsity), Winburn and Brandeis advanced to the Semifinals of the Elementary division; Campbell County Middle School and Danville Bate advanced to the Chicago JNAC Final Four; Daviess County and Henderson County finished third and second, respectively, in the Chicago JV division; Daviess County advanced to the Chicago Final Four (Varsity).
Indiana has to be mentioned, of course, as Harrison survived to the last game in New Orleans in addition to Zionsville winning it all.

Coach of the Year

Meaghan and Brian Decker performed the extraordinary feat of coaching not one, but two teams that were both worthy of inclusion in the Final Three. They share Coach of the Year honors.


Meaghan and Brian Decker

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). Hastings (NY) won it for the third time, advancing to the DC Final Four.

Qualifying for 2018 Nationals

Keep in mind that all 2076 playoff teams have automatically qualified for NAC XXXVI. Return to 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.

Next Year's Champs?

Anybody’s guess!

Hall of Fame

No new Hall of Famer was added this year or last. Zionsville this year had an impressive balanced attack, with every team member contributing significantly, but no superstars.

  • 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)
  • 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, 2013-2015)


  • 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)
  • 2016 -- Daviess County (Owensboro, KY)
  • 2017 – Zionsville (Zionsville, IN)