Quiz Bowl prepares for Nationals


The Quiz Bowl team practices ahead of the NAQT Nationals

Thomas White

Multiple athletic and academic groups receive recognition for their success at RBHS, but one team, Quiz Bowl, has been an unsung success story this year. Quiz bowl is a competition in which students compete on their knowledge of academic topics such as history, science, literature and fine arts, and schools all across the nation participate in it.
Although the Quiz Bowl team has been around for multiple years, this season has been one of the most successful campaigns, Coach Gregory Irwin said. The Quiz Bowl team this year has finished in second place twice and third place in regional tournaments and has been a serious contender for most tournaments. The biggest achievement so far has been the second place finish in Tiger Bowl VIII, a tournament hosted by Mizzou.
“This is one of the best tournaments we have had in quite a long time, and I think it shows how strong our team currently is,” Irwin said.
With the potential and ability on the team, RB Quiz Bowl looks to have a successful climax to the season, and a bright future for the next year. The players will look to succeed in the National tournament in May, which will be held in Dallas, Texas.
“The National Tournament is the main event of the season, and I just want us to win games, have fun, and gain some experience, especially for the newer players,” Irwin said.
On March 5, the Quiz Bowl team competed in their most important tournament so far this season, the NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments) state championship. This tournament not only features most high school Quiz Bowl teams from the state, but also is a qualification round for the NAQT Nationals in May.
The goal of the team was to ensure qualification for both the A team and the B team, and for the A team to win the tournament.
Although the team was optimistic about the tournament given its form, the B team failed to advance from the round robin, and failed to qualify for nationals. The A team also struggled in the tournament, and while qualifying for nationals, slumped to a 4th place finish, which was their worst finish in 2016.
“It was real disappointing that (the B team) didn’t qualify for nationals,” junior Bryan Carrasco said. “We didn’t play well at all, and what was most disappointing is that we were better than the teams we lost to.”
After the loss at the state tournament, the team is trying to shake off the disappointment and look forward to the A team performing in Nationals. One big reason behind the success of the Quiz Bowl team has been the outstanding performances of senior Luke Chval. Chval has regularly finished in the top five in scoring for tournaments and has led the team to achieving high position finishes.
“This has been my best season this year because I have learned from past experiences,” Chval said. “I have improved every year by gaining more experience, and now I fully understand how to win strategically and skillfully at the same time.”
Being in his final year of high school quiz bowl, Chval said he is desperate to taste success in nationals and hopes he can be one of the best performers in the tournament.
The only competition that is taking place for the RB team is not only tournaments, but among players who are fighting for A team and B team spots. The Quiz Bowl team contains around 20 players, of which 16 of the players are juniors. With only eight players set to go to nationals, the internal competition is intensifying every day. Since the beginning of the school year, nearly half a dozen new players have joined the team.
“I really want to make the team, but the competition is legit,” Carrasco said. “I’m trying really hard to impress during tournaments and practice.”