Quiz Bowl beats rivals

By Allison Lackner and Caitlin Bush

The Quiz Bowl team beat their rivals, Utica International Academy, at the Maison Bleue Classic tournament on Saturday, March 21.

Freshman Steven Kamm was surprised by the outcome of the tournament.

“Our captain, Harris, he said that we are more of the underdogs because the first two games, we weren’t doing really good. But we came back, and then the final game, we pretty much had it the whole time,” Kamm said.

Quiz bowl members prepared for the tournament in advance by attending after- school practices and studying at home.

“Sometimes I’ll provide them with lists like say all U.S senators or all U.S governors or all world leaders and ask them to study those,” Quiz Bowl coach Jonathan Byrne said. “Sometimes I’ll just kind of give them a little more general direction, like, ‘You need to learn more about mountain ranges in Africa,’ and they will just go find that information on their own.”

During practices, the team reads questions from past tournaments and uses a hand-buzzer system. They also use Quizlet to study and memorize facts.

“It helps memorize certain things. I use it to memorize capitals of different countries, different governors for each state,” senior William Dykstra said.

The questions at practice come from the frequency list, which allows the players to see how frequently certain subjects have appeared in previous national tournaments. assistant coach Ben Henri believes that it helps the team pinpoint the facts that are most vital to know.

“So Shakespeare probably appears more frequently, so you want to know a lot about Shakespeare. Certain authors, certain science concepts appear pretty frequently. You want to know a lot about those things, and there are some things that don’t appear very frequently,” Henri said.

At tournaments, there are sometimes questions about topics that didn’t even have a significant impact on history. According to Byrne, the team has been successful in answering them.

“There will be a couple in every round of which we call ‘trash questions.’ It’s kind of a loving nickname, but it will be questions like pop culture, sports, music, movies, video games,” Byrne said.

While each tournament is set up differently, this particular one was March Madness-themed. A total of 24 teams from southeast Michigan were eliminated bracket-style, mimicking the college basketball tournament.

The quickest teams to buzz were rewarded extra bonus points. Dykstra believes this is what helped his team advance to the next round.

“I was in disbelief because there was some doubt that we were even going to even make it into the afternoon rounds,” Dykstra said.

Byrne hopes to keep the winning streak going and feels confident in his team of so-called underdogs.

“I was very proud, super excited. One of the teams that we beat in the semi-finals is our league rival. They actually won the league title this year over us … so beating them in the semifinals was very gratifying,” Byrne said.