Buzzing their way to victory: Quiz Bowl members work together to go undefeated

Check your answers at the bottom of the story.

Photo credit: Katie Madigan

Check your answers at the bottom of the story.

By Sophia Dragich, Katie Madigan, and Gianna Roux

The Quiz Bowl team can be seen practicing once a week, buzzers in hand, answering intense questions. Members have perfected strategies that allow the team to expand their intelligence and help them grow together. This season, they hold a 5-0 record and have been striving to achieve an undefeated status in their league, which they have maintained since 2019. 

Much of the team’s success can be credited to the addition of new participants, according to Quiz Bowl coach Ben Henri. Henri says he spots true potential in each of the new players. 

“A lot of the younger players, especially this year, are really taking it seriously,” Henri said. “They want to get more playing time, they want to learn this stuff and be able to buzz in. I’m looking forward to [seeing] how each of them develop.”

The underclassmen’s strength has been a big asset to the team’s success this year. Senior Quiz Bowl captain Liam Harris acknowledges that his motivation has been impacted by the dedication of the new members. 

“The new recruits are really good,” Harris said. “They’ve replaced some really good talents from last year and honestly it’s a really good refresher just to see that they’re competent and can do really well in tournaments.”

The younger members of the team put a lot of time and effort into covering new topics during their practices. Sophomore Jack McHenry shares how the dedication put into practice translates to their success at competitions. 

“[The teammates] just inspire me because it’s like a friendly competition,” McHenry said. “I’ve been inspired to just be to be better and beat them.”

Experienced members have been able to provide support this season for newcomers. This spirited enthusiasm has helped to fill some of the spots that were occupied by last year’s high-scoring members who scored well, according to Henri. 

“Last year we graduated some very talented seniors,” Henri said. “When we graduate those seniors, we lose a lot of knowledge, so then it’s up to the younger students now to step up and start picking up on things that were lost.”

Despite losing talented seniors, Henri has faith in the future of the team as they are picking up the knowledge gaps that were left behind. He also says he tries to emphasize learning a wide range of topics so competitors can become more well-rounded. 

“I try to push people out of their comfort zones because if it were up to them, most of the time we would just have people studying a bunch of history, and things like that,” Henri said.  “And very few people want to study poetry, but poetry is a chunk of the knowledge in Quiz Bowl, [so we] start reading some of these short poems and memorizing who wrote them.” 

Not only do they apply newly learned information to their competitions to come out on top, but the team also has certain people who tend to specialize in one topic and can answer questions related to the topic. Although he notices the individual skills, Harris says he appreciates the group effort more. 

“There is a lot of collaboration especially if someone is really good with one topic,” Harris said. “They’ll try to share what they have so everyone can be pretty well-versed in a specific area.”

With teamwork and healthy competition, Henri recognizes the team’s abilities to collaborate as a group and hopes this will lead to future success.

“We want to continue to go undefeated in our league,” Henri said. “I think we have the potential to absolutely do that again this year.”

Contributing: Christina Shea


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