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2019 National Academic Championship HIGHLIGHTS

New Orleans Phase 2019

New Orleans Jesuit Wins Varsity

Gadsden City High (AL) Repeats in JV Division

Edmonson County (KY) Juggernaut Goes 9-0 in

Junior Middle Grade Division


Semifinalist Neville High (Louisiana)

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(l to r): Ralph Brockman, Maisy Liles, Bella Bolayon, Max Wiesner, Simon Michener

In the playoffs every year, New Orleans Jesuit finished No. 1 in the nation in 2014. This year’s Varsity team lost their second preliminary match to rookie Louisville Trinity, 275-270, but entered the playoffs ranked No. 4 with a 5-1 record and advanced all the way to the last High School Varsity game in New Orleans. Earlier in the playoffs, they had decisively defeated two Arkansas teams, White Hall and Russellville.

Then they went up against No. 1-seeded Bishop Kelley (OK), and this turned out to be the most exciting contest at New Orleans. Jesuit led 60-35 at the end of the first period. They extended that lead to 145-45 after sweeping the bonuses titled CORRECT THE NONFICTION BOOK TITLE and PRESIDENT OBAMA. Bishop Kelley cut that lead to 65 after sweeping a bonus of their own, ENDS IN “END.” The 60 Seconds round belonged to the Oklahoma team, as they swept the MIDDLE AGES category, after which Jesuit advanced 70-10 on the NOVELS category. At the start of the final period, it was Jesuit 225, Bishop Kelley 220. It was neck and neck – Bishop Kelley’s 20-pointers included Philosphy (They identified Sophists), Music (They recognized a Rossini Overture after an audio excerpt), and Current Events (Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party). Jesuit added 20 points piece on Genetics (They knew about codons), Calculus (second derivative), and Russian Literature (Fathers and Sons). The final tally was Jesuit 330, Bishop Kelley 325.

Meanwhile, Neville, also from Louisiana, seeded No. 2, making the playoffs for the first time in half a dozen tries, found themselves in the last game after beating another Louisiana school, South Lafourche, then overcoming rookie Villa Grove (IL) – then in a game every bit as exciting as Jesuit-Bishop Kelley, edging powerful rookie Louisville Trinity 320-310.

Tied at the end of the first period, Jesuit moved ahead in the bonus round, 165-130, after sweeping the FINISH THE SENTENCE and ECONOMICS bonuses. The game was basically won in the 60 Seconds Round, which saw Neville advance 70-30 on their choice, NATIONS, and then Jesuit sweeping the LOUISIANA category, mounting a daunting 315-200 lead entering the final period. By a final score of 395-235, Jesuit won New Orleans, advancing to the Final Four in Orlando.

The Jesuit team moments after victory

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Left to right: Matthew Dowling, Dexter Webster, Bradley Fugetta, Darren Tsang, Garrison Trahant

Junior Varsity

In the 10th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Gadsden City (AL) defeated New Orleans Jesuit, 225-175. Finishing with an 8-0 record, Gadsden won the New Orleans JV championship for the third time in the last four years.

Gadsden City, New Orleans JV champ

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Left to right: (seated) Ade Akisanya, Hunter Ender, Gaby Gaspar, Christian Todd
(standing) Mithun, Ethan Pascuales, Coach Col. Wayne Davenport

New Orleans MVP

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Jesuit’s Bradley Fugetta, 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 the aforementioned Bradley Fugetta. This is the first time the same person has won both GAME SHOW HOST and competition MVP awards.

Washington Phase 2019

Parkland (PA) Wins Varsity

Charlottesville (VA) Tops in JV

Winburn (KY) Wins Both Junior &
Elementary Divisions

Semifinalist Irvington High (NY)

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(l to r) Zachary Rosman, Rishi Madabhushi, Esha Shenoy, Jerry Wu

Of the 18 Varsity playoff teams, Parkland (PA) was seeded No. 1 and Irvington (NY) No. 2. They ended up pitted against each other in the last DC contest.

Irvington had earlier defeated Friends Academy (NY) 315-250, Lenape (NJ) 355-210, and West Chester East (PA) 325-280. In the meantime, Parkland won out over Logan (WI) 305-230; edged last year’s DC champs, Chatham (NJ) 280-275; and breezed past Ysleta (TX) 415-135.

In the last DC match, Parkland led Irvington 35-30 at the end of the first period. Irvington took a 5-point lead into halftime, having swept PENINSULA, a visual bonus. In the Sixty Seconds round, Parkland advanced 90-10 on the SUPREME COURT CASES category, and Irvington managed a 30-10 advance on POETRY. The Pennsylvania team added to the lead in the fourth quarter. The final tally was Parkland 280, Irvington 210.

The Parkland team moments after victory

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L to R:: Arjun Vedantham, Jack Blizard, Sahil Inaganti, Rahul Inaganti, Nikhil Sunder, Adrian Maghacot,
Valmiki Kothare, Hasun Noh, Coach Alice Stinebaugh

Junior Varsity

In the 10th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Charlottesville (VA) defeated Byram Hills (NY), 265-190. Finishing with an 7-1 record, Charlottesville won for Virginia its first victory in one of our events since Governor’s School won Nationals in 1995.

Charlottesville, DC JV champ

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L to R: Maisie Fischman, Aidan Miller, Coach Allen K. Robinson, NAA Director Chip Beall, Reid Baxley, Rowan Miller

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 Ethan Storie from Father Duenas High School (Guam).

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Ethan Storie

A Fond Farewell

Tracy Heim is retiring. The West Chester East High School (PA) teacher brought teams to Nationals from 1999 to 2019, affectionately known simply as “East Varsity” and “East JV.” She has taken teams to compete in Nationals at the following venues: Arlington, VA; New Orleans, LA; St. Louis, MO; San Antonio, TX; and Alexandria, VA. She coached the team that won the New Orleans competition in 2004. Her teams have always been competitive (We can’t recall the last time “East Varsity” did not make the playoffs), impeccably dressed, upbeat, and consummate good sports. One of her team members, Arjun Plakkat, won the first ever Who Wants to be a Moderator contest and has served as a moderator at Nationals for a decade.

“East Varsity has been participating in Quiz Net since you ran it from Russia,” Ms. Heim says (That was in 1996). They’ve had many weekly wins and won the Winter Quiz Net national title in 2011.

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Tracy Heim

Chicago Phase 2019

ANOTHER JESUIT TEAM WINS CHICAGO!

Semifinalist Scarsdale High (NY)

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Left to right: Coach Michael Egan, Tarif Sabur, George Primoff, Andrew Morin, Samuel Nichols, Wolf Cukier, Spencer Martin

Second-time participant Scarsdale (NY) advanced to the last Chicago match, with University of Detroit Jesuit High as their opponent.

Scarsdale defeated two former national champs en route to that last game: Daviess Co. (KY) 375-250 and Harrison (IN) 305-400. In the meantime, Detroit Jesuit won out over Norris (NE) which made their first playoff appearance; and St. John’s (MA) 405-205.

The last Chicago match was neck and neck from the start through early in the fourth period. The teams were tied 120-120 at halftime, and 210-210 at the start of the final quarter. The score was tied at 245-245. Then Detroit rattled off 70 unanswered points, recognizing the voice of Luciano Pavarotti, identifying Vietnam as the country that forced the Khmer Rouge out of Cambodia, knowing Søren Kierkegaard wrote The Changelessness of God, and on a visual question naming Corsairs as the U.S. fighter planes with the same name as Barbary pirates. The final score was Detroit 345, Scarsdale 290.

The University of Detroit Jesuit team moments after victory

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Back row: Coach Ed Roberge, Drew Basile, Spencer Wright, Christian Egan, Coach Dan Hill, Coach Daniel Babcock
Front row: Jack Pollock, Jack Audi; Sean Stolz is not pictiured

Junior Varsity

In the 10th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, first-timer Wheatley from Long Island (NY) defeated Daviess County (KY), 365-180 in the finals. Finishing with an 7-1 record, Charlottesville won for Virginia its first victory in one of our events since Governor’s School won Nationals in 1995.

Wheatley, Chicago JV champ, is only the second three-person team ever to win one of our events.

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Left to right: Victor Li, Frederick Lin, Karen Li

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 graduating senior Ian McDaniel from Hawken School (OH). Ian came to Chicago not as a player, but as an assistant coach of a Hawken Lower School team.

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Ian McDaniel