by Connor Coyle ’20 (Seton House)
On Memorial Day Weekend, the Trinity High School Quiz Bowl Team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament. It was a battle of the brains that featured the top 336 quiz bowl teams from across the nation. This was our team’s first-ever national tournament, and it allowed us to demonstrate our skills on the largest stage in high school quiz bowl. Besides competing in the tournament, we enjoyed getting to explore the city of Atlanta and meeting new people from across the country.
Most of us arrived in Georgia early on Friday morning, which gave us some time to do some sight-seeing before the official tournament activities began. We visited the Georgia Aquarium, and we walked around Centennial Olympic Park, which was home to the 1996 Olympic Games. On Friday evening, we had our first test: scrimmages. Since this was our first ever national tournament, we were guaranteed at least three scrimmage matches so that we would be more comfortable when the time came for the real matches to occur. Because we were going up against some of the best teams in the country while facing some of the most difficult quiz bowl questions ever written, we were a little bit nervous at first. Despite this, we were able to work together to go 3-0 in our scrimmages. This gave us a confidence boost going into Saturday, when the official tournament would begin.
On Saturday afternoon, our tournament run officially began with 7 preliminary-round matches. We played schools from Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, and Arizona. After a long day of competition that included many exciting moments such as a sudden-death overtime victory, we finished off the day with a record of 4-3.
In order to move on to the playoff rounds on Sunday afternoon, we needed to finish with an overall record of 6-4 or better. Going into Sunday morning’s preliminary rounds, we knew that we needed to win at least two matches in order to move on. Unfortunately, after going up against teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, we finished the preliminary rounds with an overall record of 5-5
Although we were a little bit disappointed with our result, we were proud of how well we did. After getting some lunch, we regrouped to participate in a 32-team consolation tournament. This was a much more relaxed tournament, and we had a lot of fun participating in it. We went up against teams from Missouri, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oklahoma, and we finished in second place.
We really enjoyed our time in Atlanta. From getting to explore the city to meeting other great quiz bowl players from across the country, our trip provided us with lots of great memories. All of the current team members will be coming back next year, so we are extremely excited to take what we have learned this year and return for another great season.
We are very grateful to Mr. Joyce for coaching us all season and for arranging for us to compete in the tournament and to the entire Trinity community for supporting us this season.