Masterminds NY

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Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

I thought I throw up a topic about Masterminds in Upstate NY.

There are 20 Varsity Leagues containing 119 schools spread across Albany, Rochester, Buffalo & Syracuse. Along with JV counterparts. Across Upstate, they just started the multipart Regional Playoffs with a state tournament for the winners of the 4 regions.

In Albany the playoff is spread across 3 days. Today 8 teams played the first 1/2 of the bracket whittling down to 1 undefeated team, and 2 each with one loss. The teams in the 2nd half will play a week from Wednesday also advancing 3 of 8 teams to a conclusion on a day in early May. Different regions are different because the leagues are unevenly distributed with 4 in Albany, 5 in Buffalo, 9 in Rochester & only 2 in Syracuse. So the Rochester tournament also already underway is a bit more complicated.

In Albany, Bethlehem jumped out on top, undefeated, with Columbia taking their 1st loss in the 3rd round to Bethlehem, and LaSalle fighting up through the losers bracket to advance also with just one loss. Bethlehem won by large margins while Columbia had a 1 tossup scare with Amsterdam.

I expect the class of the 2nd part of the tournament to be Guilderland and Broadalbin-Perth and possibly Schalmont. It doesn't look like anyone in this region is serious competition for Bethlehem . We'll see what happens as it rolls along.

See http://www.nymasterminds.com/league/index.html
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Ithaca Cricket Ump »

Bethlehem A and Ithaca A are the class of upstate New York this year - both teams have attended, and made championship brackets in, metro-NYC area tournaments. They're #1 and #1a, and #3 is a LONG way below. Unfortunately, they probably won't get to play each other this year (although Bethlehem did play Ithaca B in a very close match at Prison Bowl, with Ithaca B pulling out a 5-point win), since Bethlehem's only national is NHBB this weekend, and Ithaca is only attending HSNCT (although I think PACE NSC plays more to this particular team's strengths) due to the fact that they want to save money for next year (their principal has apparently told them that no school funding is going to be extended to them next year).

Bethlehem-Ithaca is going to be a great upstate rivalry over the next couple of years, as Bethlehem's top 2 players and Ithaca's top player are underclassmen (2 sophomores - Eric Wolfsberg and Ben Weinstein - in Bethlehem's case, and a freshman - Casey Wetherbee in Ithaca's), plus Ithaca B has two other outstanding freshmen (Daniel Xu and Andrey Shakhyazadan) moving up to the A team next year. At the very least, they should play each other at BrainBusters Fall next year, and hopefully Bethlehem will play HSNCT and/or PACE NSC in 2015 - they should easily qualify for both, and actually have a foot into the Northeast circuit by now and are aware of those tournaments. Ithaca doesn't play MasterMinds and has no plans to join due to the cost (and the fact that they would simply destroy every team in the Syracuse region), but they will probably be making a minimum of three, perhaps more, appearances at metro-NYC tournaments next season (they made top brackets at both Prison Bowl and St. Joe's - the latter under a pseudonym with a not-at-full-strength team that was 75% freshmen, including a win over admittedly-also-not-at-full-strength Wilmington Charter A), as well as BrainBusters Fall and Bull Bowl.

For those of you who are wondering, MasterMinds is played on NAQT A-sets, which is probably the perfect difficulty for 95% of the teams in the young and developing upstate New York quizbowl circuit. Hopefully, the emergence of these two quality upstate programs who have shown that they can stay in a game with any team in the country will be an impetus to the growth of good quizbowl in upstate NY in the coming years.

--Scott
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

Ithaca Cricket Ump wrote:Bethlehem A and Ithaca A are the class of upstate New York this year -..................................

Bethlehem-Ithaca is going to be a great upstate rivalry over the next couple of years, as Bethlehem's top 2 players and Ithaca's top player are underclassmen (2 sophomores - Eric Wolfsberg and Ben Weinstein - in Bethlehem's case, and a freshman - Casey Wetherbee in Ithaca's)..................

--Scott
Very Nice Scott. One correction; Ben is a Junior.

I really hope we can expand ( as a club team) and play more of the tournaments you suggest. In the mean time I believe that Bethlehem( as a school team) will continue to play Masterminds for the following reasons

1. I think the administration likes to see them kill the other local teams; probably more than doing well at a national event. BTW, I seem to remember reading a post recently somewhere on this board about the importance of local play to school admins. It would be cool of our locality were a big metro region....

2. The teacher who runs Masterminds likes winning locally and also is probably not interested in expanding his job into the weekend.
3. Masterminds is also a training ground for players to feed his real interest, which is Science Bowl. Bethlehem has sent teams to nationals consistently, although not this year. After Eric has taken a few AP science classes, they may be back.

The good news is that the MS advisor is happy to do weekends and is actually going, on his own dime, to NHBB with the MS team playing up into HS JV.

Also, both the HS and the MS teams did end up getting considerable assistance for NHBB from the Bethlehem foundation and the local PTA for the HS and MS.

I suspect that we have more sources of funds we can try to tap here than you do, but, I think we should discuss fund raising strategy. I wonder if Cornell would like to help sponsor you.
You could promote the University to bright HS students wherever you go with the right shirts, logos, and handouts.

Now I'd just like to invite a post from a Rochester of Buffalo based team : )
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

It is nice to see that 7 schools/10 teams from NYS Masterminds will participate in Brain Busters in Ithaca next week

AMSTERDAM, Amsterdam, NY 
BETHLEHEM, Delmar, NY (2 teams)
(ss) CATO-MERIDIAN, Cato, NY
(ss) FILLMORE, Fillmore, NY 
(ss) GENEVA, Geneva, NY (2 teams)
(ss) MARCUS WHITMAN, Rushville, NY (2 teams)
PITTSFORD MENDON, Pittsford, NY
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

Masterminds Update: ( I'd love to know if anyone sees this and has comments, corrections, or trash talk to make.)

Masterminds is an upstate after school QB league that runs NAQT introductory sets which are used by many early season QB tournaments like the MIT invitational. Masterminds is broken into 20 leagues spread across 4 regions representing over 120 teams/schools. It's been criticised on these forums for the cost/game played, but, if you are looking for an example of introducing good QB to lots of new people, I don't think you can find a better example.

1st the 2014 State finals ended with

School W L Points Representing
Bethlehem 3 0 1075 Albany Area
Brighton 2 1 620 Rochester Area
Williamsville East 1 2 575 Buffalo Area
East Syracuse-Minoa 0 3 475 Syracuse Area

The 2014/2015 Masterminds season is off to a good start. I'll give a quick breakdown of most of the regions.

Rochester Region:
Rochester is the largest of the 4 regions with 9 Leagues:
Brighton in League 1 seems to be the class once again starting out at 4-0 and returning David Killbridge who is
putting up a very impressive, state best, 80 points per half: He gets good support from Simon Lenoe and and Max
Franklin.
Webster Schroeder is also 4-0 in league 1

Mynderse in League 5 is 4-0 and putting some nice point totals with Senior Tyger Doell leading the way.

Geneva in league 6, always a threat to win the league, looks good with JR Liam Schmitt leading the charge.

In League 8 Fairport seems to have taken over top spot from Victor in early season results.

In League 9 It looks like Fillmore & Livonia are going to have a great battle for top spot.

Buffalo Region: with 5 Leagues
League 1. Nichols looks good with a cast of good players putting up points led by Sr. Rebecca Reagan putting up 27
PPH.

League 4 will be very competitive with a battle brewing between well rounded teams from Williamsville North and
Williamsville East

Syracuse Region: 2 Leagues - Off to a late Start nothing to report

Albany Region: 5 Leagues

League 1:
Galway is tough with Brooke Martin putting up 50 PPH
Also starting hot is Reyers Brusoe with 40 PPH

League 3:
Schalmont, Bishop Maginn, and Columbia are all evenly matched for a great season long battle.
Sr. Tim MacDonald from Columbia is throwing down 47.5 PPH

League 4: Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake & Guilderland will try to provide the competition for returning State Champion,
Bethlehem, who returns Eric Wolfsberg 65 PPH, Will Anderson 45 PPH, and last years MVP Ben Weinstein.

League 5: Berlin has grabbed the early lead with Andrew Shoemaker leading the way.

At this very early stage, I think we might be looking at a repeat State Finals of Bethlehem Vs Brighton.
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

BTW - Complete Infor for Masterminds NY can be found at:
http://www.nymasterminds.com/
and Individual League info is at:
http://www.nymasterminds.com/league/index.html
One can find complete results and schedules. Won/Loss records, Team points, Head to Head scores and even individual player stats are provided.
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Emperor Pupienus »

League 1. Nichols looks good with a cast of good players putting up points led by Sr. Rebecca Reagan putting up 27
PPH.
Nichols will be competing for the League title again this year. We did graduate a lot of seniors, and we have reloaded decently, but expectations are almost certainly not as high. Seniors Rebecca Regan and Ava Karet cover the main subject areas of history, lit, and science pretty well, but of course our team is limited by lack of studying. Knowledge atrophy, particularly with European history from Sophomore year and US history from Junior year could manifest itself more later in the year, and we are limited to topics which we took classes in or read about for fun. The arrival of freshman Bradley Castiglia is promising, who had one power in each half he has played so far. He seems to be pretty good at history and geography, having done well in the Nichols Middle Geography Bee each year from 5-8 grades.
Our loss against Depew in the first sequence is fairly distressing. Depew may certainly be better than last year, when it was in the middle of the pack in the league, but it is pretty unacceptable to only put up 80 points when the opponent puts up 125 points if you want to win. Perhaps there was some unluckiness with questions, however, or untimely negs. The 200+ points totals in their other two games are encouraging, but I think it will definitely not be easy to win the league against perennial contender Grand Island. Regardless, I think the prospects for winning the Buffalo Region are pretty slim, with all the Williamsville schools putting up good numbers.
League 4 will be very competitive with a battle brewing between well rounded teams from Williamsville North and
Williamsville East
Williamsville South also should not be discounted, as they have the best player in their league, Senior Alex Hedges, but as a mainly one person team, I don't know how far they will go.
At this very early stage, I think we might be looking at a repeat State Finals of Bethlehem Vs Brighton.
I would be shocked if Bethlehem did not destroy every team in Masterminds. Some of the teams in each region are putting up decent numbers, but it should not be enough to defeat one of the top 20 teams in the country. Bethlehem severely outclasses the rest of the Masterminds league.
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

Jason,

Thanks I hope we can suck some more ppl into this forum. Now that we have at least one more round on the boards, I'll try to give an update some time this week.
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Ithaca Cricket Ump »

At this very early stage, I think we might be looking at a repeat State Finals of Bethlehem Vs Brighton.
I would be shocked if Bethlehem did not destroy every team in Masterminds. Some of the teams in each region are putting up decent numbers, but it should not be enough to defeat one of the top 20 teams in the country. Bethlehem severely outclasses the rest of the Masterminds league.
Bethlehem is usually being nice and not playing their full A team in MasterMinds regular season matches, from what I hear. Once the playoffs start and the real Bethlehem A starts playing, there is going to be carnage like you wouldn't believe. It's not even going to be fair. The #15 team in the country (which I actually think underrates them by 10 spots or so, but most of the people voting in the new poll haven't seen their full team play yet), going up against schools that don't take it seriously enough to even show up at weekend tournaments, and have never played on anything more difficult than a NAQT A set? Setting Eric Wolfsberg, Ben Weinstein and Will Anderson loose on these teams is like dipping a screaming newborn baby in barbecue sauce and waving it in the face of an angry pit bull.

No one in MM will beat Bethlehem. No one will come within 200 points of them, even at state level, unless they have one of MM's painfully-slow readers and they don't get to enough questions in the time limit. David Kilbridge is a talented player who COULD be a great player at higher level with practice and experience, but I don't know that Brighton has ever attended a circuit tournament, despite having been personally invited to do so on more than one occasion (by both me and the SUNY-Buffalo people, among possible others). The only team in upstate New York that could even dream of beating full-strength Bethlehem in a one-off game is Ithaca A, with two conditions:

1. A fine arts and literature-heavy packet (Fine arts is the one field where Ithaca is undoubtedly better than Bethlehem), and,
2. Bethlehem helps them out some with multiple negs.

Next year, when their five sophomores have another year of experience (and preparation, AP Science, and ACE camp) under their belts, Ithaca A will in a much better position to handle the Wolfsberg Express. This year, though, they would be substantial underdogs, and no other team in upstate New York has a shot in hell at them. And Ithaca doesn't play MasterMinds. You can pretty much go ahead and engrave Bethlehem's name on the trophy now.

--Scott
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Mark Wolfsberg »

OK Scott,

I definitely got a good laugh out of that....

I will say this, If the NYS state tournament conflicts with the all-star NASAT tournament, Eric, and possibly Will might not be at States.
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Re: Masterminds NY

Post by Antrobus63 »

I just heard that Mark Wolfsburg passed away on January 31. I see in his obituary, that "In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bethlehem Central Community Foundation to provide financial assistance for BCHS history bowl and quiz bowl teams. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesu ... 8ZB4c.dpuf.

My condolences to Mark's son, Eric, and the rest of his family.
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