As the year comes to an end, I thought that it would be nice to display the collective opinion of HSQB in IL with some mid-season rankings. With the help of Deepak Moparthi (SHS), Kevin Kodama (OPRF), Anishka Bandara (OPRF), Harrison Wang (HC),and Jakob Myers (NN), I have a compendium of teams that would qualify as the "top" in Illinois this season along with a brief description. We decided to divide the teams up into two tiers: one containing the best of the best in Illinois so far, and the other great teams that are similar in level. Without further ado, here is our selection.
Barrington (Matthew Lehmann, John Waldron, Wilder Seitz, Abraham Holtermann):
Barrington has two of the best generalists in the state, but that shouldn't let you discount their specialist ability - extreme depth as well as good breadth. John has further solidified his science capabilities, easily competent at the nationals level, while also focusing on learning history. That combined with Lehmann’s fearsome and constantly improving prowess in lit and deep generalism puts Barrington at the highest tier in the state, and they should be national contenders as well. However, their habit of negging often causes them problems against top teams. Barrington is nevertheless a serious force in both the Illinois circuit and national quiz bowl.
-23.58 Earlybird (HS Reg), 473.33 PPG, 1st Place
-24.82 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 481.67 PPG, 1st Place
-23.47 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 488.85 PPG, 2nd Place
-15.56 PPB at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 310.56 PPG, 2nd Place
Naperville North (Jakob Myers, Shawn Yoshida, Alex Eastman, Jack Brandt):
Arguably the best quizbowl player in the state, Jakob Myers individually dominates every tournament he attends, and is very dominant at history. His unmatched prowess on NAQT questions makes him a likely contender for HSNCT, and given his generalism, should be in the running for PACE as well. However, Jakob’s biggest weakness is likely science, which is complemented nicely with his science-heavy teammates, allowing Naperville North to maintain a spot in the top tier in spite of having such unbalanced scoring. Shawn Yoshida is filling in the myth hole quite well, and Alex Eastman is very competent at Economics and Physics. Jack Brandt is a competent fourth scorer, contributing approximately 5-7 ppg on difficult HS sets with his extremely odd patches of knowledge and core competence on philosophy. With such an interesting team layout, we can expect Naperville North to be a serious contender especially at the national level.
-20.60 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 348.50 PPG, 3rd Place
-24.28 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 520.91 PPG, 1st Place
-17.65 at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 293.56 PPG, 1st Place
Stevenson A: (Ali Saeed, Young Lee, Conrad Oberhaus, Govind Prabhakar, Nathan Cha):
Ali Saeed leads a very strong team which is easily in contention for the state title as well as at least a top-five national finish. Ali is the best generalist in Illinois and has extremely deep science and literature knowledge. Young Lee is probably the best philosophy player in the entire country and also provides the team with strong fine arts, religion, and mythology knowledge. Nathan Cha provides strong support with his fine arts knowledge. Despite the loss of Kazuma Shimanaka, Stevenson A retains its depth in history with the addition of Conrad Oberhaus and Govind Prabhakar. Conrad and Govind also provide Stevenson with deep geography knowledge, furthering their ability to play strongly on NAQT sets. Govind and Conrad will both develop into excellent hist/geo specialists, Deepak dominating science, and with Olivia to field literature, Stevenson will remain a force after their seniors have graduated.
-23.29 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 423.75 PPG, 1st Place (Roster: Ali, Young, Deepak, Govind)
-23.69 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 444.17 PPG, 2nd Place (Roster: Olivia, Conrad, Deepak, Nathan, Govind)
-22.90 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 458.64 PPG, 3rd Place (Roster: Ali, Young, Conrad, Deepak)
-23.49 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 461.67 PPG, 1st Place (Roster: Ali, Nathan)
-16.74 PPB at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 296.25 PPG, 4th Place (Roster: Ali, Young, Govind)
Auburn (Ethan Strombeck, Henry Roe, Morad Suliman, Lilly Chavez, Zane Clevenger):
In spite of losing Cole, Auburn is still quite solid, retaining Henry and Strombeck, although Henry has yet to make an appearance. Strombeck has embraced the role of generalist quite well while maintaining a specialty in fine arts and some history/geo. With Henry’s return and some gap-filling, Auburn will only get better, and should be one of the best teams in the state. They are an extraordinarily disciplined team, with close to none negs every game. Their discipline and reticence on the buzzer can contribute to stunning finishes such as this, but can also lead to losses on buzzer races with less neg-happy players. Overall, Auburn has an extremely bright future. Ethan with another two years of canon knowledge, studying, and generalization will be a force of quizbowl nature.
-17.85 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 290.00 PPG, 9th Place (w/o Henry)
-16.35 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 218.00 PPG, 8th Place (w/o Ethan or Henry)
-20.63 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 387.73 PPG, 6th Place (w/o Henry)
-12.73 at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 186.25 PPG, 8th Place (w/o Henry)
Carmel Catholic (Ricky Rivera, Ethan Seidenburg, Calla Schultz, Celia DeKeyser, Bernard Zitzewitz):
Although he may be a mostly one-man team, Ricky has impressive breadth and is especially good on NAQT thanks to his trash and current events knowledge. Furthermore he's capable of pulling clutch lit buzzes and plenty of generalist buzzes, but to break into a higher tier, more committed teammates or dedicated depth studying would be necessary.
-21.41 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 347.50 PPG, 5th Place
-19.53 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 300.45 PPG, 4th Place
-23.07 PPB at NTV (HS Novice), 438.18 PPG, 2nd Place Standard
Fremd A (Gretchen Coleman, Bissmun Gill, Varun Cidambi, Vikas Reddy, Advay Mahajan, Kevin Chen):
Fremd hasn't graduated any of their lineup from last year, and has gotten significantly better as a result of putting their best players on A rather than splitting talent. Gretchen and Bissmun both have acquired a fairly good grasp of lit, and although it may seem like this lineup seems redundant because of two lit players, they complement each other well to combine for a good depth and breadth. Gretchen seems to do fine arts as well. Varun provides the overall generalism while him and Vikas combine to take care of history. Advay also provides a baseline of science to work off. Furthermore, the overall team is very impressive at current events/trash, suggesting they would be better at NAQT. As a team that pulls many upsets against a number of teams on this list, we expect Fremd A to finish strong at the end of the season.
-19.56 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 259.00 PPG, 6th Place
-21.76 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 318.00 PPG, 4th Place
-18.97 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 323.18 PPG, 10th Place
-23.75 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 397.00 PPG, 4th Place
-14.22 PPB at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 184.38 PPG, 7th Place
Hinsdale Central (Harrison Wang, Atharv Garje, Michael Noonan, Daren Chen):
Despite losing almost all of their A team from last year, Hinsdale continues to remain a strong team. Harrison Wang is one of the best chemistry players in the country and also has very deep knowledge in other areas of science and fine arts. Harrison is also a very competent generalist and is usually top scorer. Atharv is good at history and geography and is also picking up bits of literature here and there. Mike has deep history and current events knowledge. Daren is a quizbowl sniper, picking up deep buzzes here or there on his pet subjects. While they have a pretty high overlap structure, Hinsdale has fairly distributed scoring and solid bonus conversion. Hinsdale by no means is a disappointment this year compared to last year’s lineup: they have seemed to neg a lot less, and will improve further given Harrison’s tournament attendance.
-18.56 PPB at ACF Fall, 275.50 PPG, 4th Place (w/o Atharv)
-23.83 PPB at Fenwick Kickoff, 587.78 PPG, 1st Place
-23.97 PPB at Ultima, 425.00 PPG, 2nd Place
-12.73 PPB at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 153.75 PPG, 6th Place (w/o Atharv or Daren)
Homewood-Flossmoor (Lily Hamer, Declan Cauley, Ethan Bosch, Michael Colton):
Homewood-Flossmoor is largely a single-player team due to the graduation of Michael Gislason. Lily Hamer’s PPG numbers at various tournaments are likely due to a lack of specialization from her teammates. This being said, she is capable of powering lit, but there remain gaping knowledge holes in her core of knowledge on literature questions. This team has the potential to be a local power, but for now, their PPG and PPB numbers leave something to be desired.
-18.80 at Earlybird (HS Reg), 327.22 PPG, 3rd Place
-18.89 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 352.22 PPG, 8th Place
-10.73 PPB at NTV (Collegiate Reg), 132.50 PPG, 10th Place
IMSA (Pranav Sivakumar, Nathaniel Smith, Hanson Hao, Becky Mathew, Shivani Sharma, Gary Yang, Alex Orlov):
Despite losing Mike Etzkorn, IMSA is still a considerable team to face against. Pranav has gotten some deep knowledge in literature as well as geography/history, while the addition of Hanson allows the team to get some good coverage into some of the tougher categories. Becky has become one of the best religion players in the state but contributes quite a bit of niche knowledge every game and fills in as generalist whenever needed. Nathaniel also has several odd patches of history knowledge, which complements the skill sets of other players well. With the full lineup, IMSA shouldn’t be a far cry from what they have achieved throughout the previous season.
-18.18 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 295.50 PPG, 7th Place (w/o Nathaniel)
-24.86 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 455.50 PPG, 3rd Place
-20.25 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 357.73 PPG, 7th Place (w/o Hanson + Pranav)
-20.83 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 332.00 PPG, 6th Place (w/o Hanson + Pranav)
Latin A (Ana Pranger, Eddy Lee, Jackson Coleman, Alex Reuter):
After the loss of Simon Ricci from last year, Latin A has been on the decline. While still having decent finishes at tournaments this year, they are not putting up very many powers. Their top scorer this year is Ana Prager, who is a decent literature player. Eddy Lee provides good science and math support, while the rest of the team can convert history. Once again, I think Latin’s biggest weakness is their lack of depth which could potentially get them good powers.
-20.82 PPB at Fenwick Kickoff (HS Reg), 383.13 PPG, 5th Place
-17.67 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 320.00 PPG, 15th Place
-19.42 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 342.50 PPG, 1st Place Standard (w/o everyone)
-20.29 at NTV (HS Novice), 324.50 PPG, 7th Place Standard
Loyola (Jack Mayer, Michael Finnegan, Trey Starshak, Sean Sumugat):
After a T-21 finish at HSNCT last year, Loyola returns its two lead scorers, both of whom are competent generalists on their own. Loyola’s strongest subject is likely history/current events, but Finnegan has a niche in myth and is one of the better myth players in IL. That being said, they are capable of picking up any categories off of teams that are unspecialized, making any holes particularly dangerous against them. Loyola is similar to Fremd in terms of placement, but with explosive second semester senior improvement, can improve.
-21.10 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 356.00 PPG, 6th Place
-21.30 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 319.5 PPG, 5th Place
-23.63 PPB at NTV (HS Novice), 435.00 PPG, 1st Place Standard
Metea Valley (Arpan Laha, Kieran Kaempen, Nick Kaminsky, Miles Ollee, Arjun Sundararajan, Rohin Bhasin):
After losing Harsha and Melissa, the team has struggled with literature and fine arts. Nick’s deep history knowledge, however, is something to be noted especially after seeing his solid buzzes during ACF Fall. Nevertheless, Arpan and Kieran both make up a strong core of the team, with solid knowledge in science and RMP. Arjun helps the team carry out the NAQT distribution with his minor generalism as well. With a full team, Metea Valley is expected to pull off some solid finishes throughout the rest of the season if their tournament attendance improves.
-15.21 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 230.00 PPG, 5th Place
Oak Park-River Forest (Anishka Bandara, Kevin Kodama, Sanjeev Venkatesan, Cole Tamondong, Jon Niewijk):
Due to school issues, OPRF hasn't been able to attend many tournaments this year, but when they do, they put up fearsome power counts and PPBs, and given Kevin’s explosive improvement in the last few months, should only get better. Anishka brings deep science knowledge that is competent at the nationals level, while Kevin provides the team’s generalism and knows a lot of lit, FA, and history. Anishka is also a generalist in his own right, picking up lit and RMP. Sanjeev also contributes lit. The biggest issue for OPRF would be, other than tournament attendance, would be deepening their breadth and ensuring consistency, both of which rely on each other. Nevertheless, OPRF has gone from being a good standard division team to a solid Uber team.
-21.60 PPB at Fenwick Kickoff (HS Reg), 443.33 PPG, 3rd Place (w/o Kevin)
-24.13 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 387.00 PPG, 3rd Place
Stevenson B (Olivia Lamberti, Deepak Moparthi, Nathan Cha, Chris Muth, Shamsheer Rana, Michelle Cai):
Despite being a B team, Stevenson B is as strong, if not stronger, than most A teams on this list. Olivia Lamberti has extremely deep literature knowledge and is also a very competent generalist. Deepak Moparthi also plays an integral part in the team’s success with his deep science and mythology knowledge and is also capable of generalizing. As of now, history seems to be spread out amongst every member of Stevenson B. However, given some time, Chris Muth could potentially become a very deep history player. Stevenson B’s biggest strength is its players’ motivation and ability to improve rapidly. The biggest weakness of Stevenson B is probably the sporadic attendance of their team members and fluctuating roster. Overall, Stevenson B should not be underestimated solely due to the fact that they are a B team, as they scale up to many of the A teams in Illinois.
-18.00 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 461.67 PPG, 8th Place (Roster: Olivia, Chris, Shamsheer, Michelle)
-19.88 PPB at Stevenson Kickoff (HS Reg), 288.50 PPG, 7th Place (Roster: Chris, Shamsheer, Michelle, Ani, David, Shreya)
-16.36 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 300.45 PPG, 9th Place (Roster: Olivia)
-20.30 PPB at Ultima (HS Reg), 315.50 PPG, 7th Place (Roster: Deepak, Shamsheer, Chris, Michelle)
-22.28 PPB at NTV (HS Novice), 429.00 PPG, 5th Place Standard (Roster: Conrad, Deepak, Michelle)
Waubonsie Valley (Brian Kalathiveetil, Addison Hagerman, Matt Lorenc, Andrew Du, Max Wang):
Brian Kal has went from being a solid science and fine arts player to becoming a very competent generalist. Addison has also covered some parts of the distribution with his expansive myth knowledge as well as his minor generalism. In addition, both Matt Lorenc and Andrew Du fill in holes in American History and Geography, respectively. However, Waubonsie is seen as quite mercurial due to their relatively low PPB finishes, but this is due to the absence of a full roster during tournaments. Even with a full roster, Waubonsie is by far weakest in sets with bouncing bonuses due to their weakness in this area. With the acquisition of contributing teammates and with closer alignment of Brian’s knowledge base with the NAQT canon, this should easily improve.
-17.96 PPB at ACF Fall (HS Difficult), 259.00 PPG, 10th Place
-19.82 PPB at Fenwick Kickoff (HS Reg), 430.56 PPG, 2nd Place (w/o Matt)
-18.96 PPB at HFT (HS Difficult), 318.15 PPG, 5th Place (w/o Addison and Andrew)
All IL teams involved in the creation of this document (with the exception of IMSA) voted on the top 10 teams in Illinois. The votes were tallied and kept in order by Deepak Moparthi and Kevin Kodama. The results were fed into a single transferable vote calculator, which picked winners in order and redistributed the votes afterwards. The following are the final adjusted vote totals, the methodology of which can be found on http://paul-lockett.co.uk/av.html
1. Naperville North
(7.00 adjusted votes)
2. Stevenson A
(5.48 adjusted votes)
(8.18 adjusted votes)
(3.61 adjusted votes)
5. Hinsdale Central
(2.21 adjusted votes)
6. Stevenson B
(1.98 adjusted votes)
(1.78 adjusted votes)
(1.78 adjusted votes)
(2.09 adjusted votes)
10. Waubonsie Valley
(1.81 adjusted votes)
Thanks to the efforts of Harrison Wang, we also have a list of Illinois teams ranked in order by PPB. Below is a spreadsheet filled with the different teams and the adjusted PPBs according to the different tournaments attended. The method for calculating the adjusted PPBs is located under the rankings.
As a final note, we hope that we didn't forget/offend anyone, and we're completely open to any suggestions or complaints. Thank you for taking your time to read this, and we hope your team enjoys the rest of the season!