Alabama '05-'06

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Alabama '05-'06

Post by quizbowllee »

I figured it's about time to start the new "official" Alabama discussion thread. I enjoyed the banter back-and-forth last year among Alabama players and coaches, and I look forward to the same this year.

I've decided to start the thread with my "Preseason Top 10." In no particular order:

Covenant Christian - They may be the best team in Alabama this year. They are returning both Matthew and Carter, either of whom could be a one-man scoring monster.

Grissom - because they are always good.

Cullman - Their whole team from last year is also returning as seniors. They made some incredible clutch upsets last year in ASCA - beating Grissom, Covenant Christian, and Brindlee Mountain at different times. Expect them to be great this year.

Arab - Arab High School has a new coach, and as such has re-recruited some of their best players who had quit. Depending on the new coach's strategies, they may be a powerhouse.

Brindlee Mountain - I know I'm ever-partial to the team I coach... But there's no mistake that BMHS was one of the best teams in the state last year -- and we are returning 3 of 4 starters. Justin Decker will replace graduated Myles Teston, making our starting "A" team all sophomores.

ASFA - David returns. ASFA is awesome at shorter, quick recall questions, but seems to struggle a bit at more pyramidal tossups. However, I think that their experiences at PACE this past summer may change that.

LAMP - I don't know much about their new lineup, but they always seem to have one or two great players waiting in the wings every year... So even though losing Jay and Stephen will probably be a blow to them, I expect them to deliver.

Russellville - They had no team last year, but do have a huge influx of GREAT 9th graders this year. I know firsthand how good a determined group of freshmen can be, and I predict Russellville will be pretty good once again. Also, if I'm not mistaken, Slade Gilmer's brother will be on the team...

Southside - Matt from Southside will be back. He's a one-man team for sure, but a VERY good one. I don't look forward to BMHS having to play them again.

Vestavia Hills - call this one a hunch. Pizitz Middle School has been an absolute BEAST in middle school ASCA for the last 3 or 4 years. They feed into Vestavia, which is a team that really started competing last year. Their time is coming - if not this year, then soon.



There you have it - my predictions of preseason top 10 in no particular order. What do you guys think?

-Lee
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

Lee, brace yourself...my brother doesn't go to Russellville High School anymore. In fact, my mom and dad don't teach there anymore. My dad accepted a job at his hometown high school, and we now leave in Winfield. That said, I do think my alma mater does have a chance to rebuild the program the way they did in the early Chris and Adam Pace era.
Slade Gilmer, 2004 Graduate of THE Russellville High School, 2009 Graduate of THE University of North Alabama

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Post by steven-lamp »

Edit: removed drunken post

It's sort of pointless to make "picks" with regard to Alabama, because they're always wrong. A team always comes out and surprises everyone else each year. Therefore, I'll just make a list of teams that I think can do some damage next year if they want to. (This is, of course, based on my experience playing with/against said teams last year.)

Brindlee Mountain
LAMP
Cullman
CCA
ASFA
ISS (?)
Grissom (as always)

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Post by quizbowllee »

Well... It seems that we are still about $350 in the hole from last year... So we might not get to go to any tournaments at all until we can get back on top of our financial situation. So... we might not make our debut until November or December this year - unless I pay for the tournament fees out-of-pocket (and I don't make that much). Maybe some schools will give us an IOU...

BTW - if there are any coaches/players out there reading this: Would anyone be interested in a small tournament at BMHS on Oct. 8? We may need to host something pretty fast to fix our debt.
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Post by quizbowllee »

It looks like gas prices may play a big part in Alabama Quiz Bowl this year. Our high school is saying that we may have to suspend ALL non-essential and extracurricular travel starting next week. We might not even get to play our football games. I'm hoping that this will be a very temporary situation - but it may keep us from traveling to the ASCA "Fun" Tournament on Sept. 17...

Are any other Alabama schools having this problem?
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Post by Neel6989 »

Our coach is going to be absent for the ASCA fun tournament, so that's why we aren't going.

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Post by DVader »

ASFA's going to make its first appearance at the ASCA Fun Tournament this year, and the school hasn't mentioned any gas issues yet.
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Post by Captain Cullman »

Gas prices haven't been an issue for us, but our school is only two miles away from the Fun Tournament. Our biggest problem is that our number 2 and 3 players are playing with our band in our city's fair parade the same day, and they never come to practice because they have to work or go to band sectionals. Stupid Band.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Captain Cullman wrote:Gas prices haven't been an issue for us, but our school is only two miles away from the Fun Tournament. Our biggest problem is that our number 2 and 3 players are playing with our band in our city's fair parade the same day, and they never come to practice because they have to work or go to band sectionals. Stupid Band.
Yeah, band has been an issue for Brindlee Mountain, also. So has football. Fortunately, all four of our starters dropped out of marching band because it conflicted with quiz bowl. However, one of our best players is one of our starting basketball players, so we'll lose him for a few months starting in October.
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Post by quizbowllee »

BTW - Do any of you have tentative schedules for this year (or this semester)? I'm trying to map out the year, but I'm finding no tournaments in early November to attend. Plus, the cancellation of Georgia Tech's tournament is a real bummer.

Here is what we have up until Christmas:

Sept. 17 – ASCA Fun Tournament (St. Bernard Prep. School – Cullman, AL)
Oct. 1 – Bob Selcer Memorial (UT-Chattanooga – Chattanooga, TN)
Nov. 19 – Buckhorn Invitational Tournament
Dec. 2 – Athens State University Invitational (Athens, AL)
Dec. 3 – Brindlee Mountain High School Invitational (here)
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Post by Neel6989 »

Hoover is having a tournament on October 15th. There's a good chance we'll be going to either Hoover's tournament or Buckhorn's tournament, if not both.

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Post by Byko »

No offense to Buckhorn, Lee, but also on November 19 is probably the best-run tournament in the southeast out at Brookwood HS in the Atlanta area (if you're able to get clearance to go out of state). I think you guys (and anyone else in Alabama) could really get some great experience at that tournament.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Byko wrote:No offense to Buckhorn, Lee, but also on November 19 is probably the best-run tournament in the southeast out at Brookwood HS in the Atlanta area (if you're able to get clearance to go out of state). I think you guys (and anyone else in Alabama) could really get some great experience at that tournament.
Yeah, we had originally planned to attend Brookwood - and I'd love to. However, we're experiencing a major budget problem. If we want to make the trips to NAQT and PACE this summer, we're gonna have to really watch our spending. Also, this is the day of the Alabama - Auburn football game, which is a pretty huge deal in Alabama and some people are not going to want to give up watching the game.

We do plan to go to to Brookwood's JV Tournament in February.

-Lee
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Post by quizbowllee »

The ASCA Fun Tournament today gives us some ideas about Alabama this year.

Here's how it played out:

1st - Cullman
2nd - Brindlee Mountain
Semi-finalists: Bob Jones and Buckhorn

ASFA also made the impromptu play-offs, but had to leave before they began.

Brindlee Mountain was seeded #1 with 359 ppg
Buckhorn had 308 ppg and was seeded #2 because they won their pool
Cullman had 315 ppg
Bob Jones had an unknown ppg but made the playoffs because ASFA left

Brindlee Mountain squeeked by Bob Jones in the semis - 305 to 275
In the "Championship," Brindlee Mountain was defeated by Cullman by 95 points (320-225). Cullman was uber-strong in the Tossup/Bonus Period, and that's where most of the points are....

Our other scores of the day:

Round One: BMHS 265
Indian Springs 185

Round Two: Bye

Round Three: BMHS 330
Hillcrest 85

Round Four: BMHS 475 (a new ASCA scoring record for us)
American Christian 110

Round Five: BMHS 365
Cullman B - 40

A few observances of mine:

Indian Springs lost a lot with the graduation of James and Evan. They're still not too bad, though, and will improve as the year goes by.

ASFA was undefeated before they left, and their scores were relatively high, so they are very strong as expected.

Bob Jones made the playoffs only because of ASFA's departure, but seemed pretty strong. They gave us a super close match.

Cullman is out for blood this year. Daniel is at the top of his game for sure. His buzzer speed in the tossup/bonus round did Brindlee Mountain in. I still wonder how they will do on longer questions, but as for ASCA, they may have a good shot at the championship. Congrats to them for overcoming some rotten luck early on in the day!

We obviously haven't heard from two of our biggest contenders, Covenant Christian and Grissom, so we'll have to wait and see....

Our next tournament is Oct. 1 in Chattanooga. I highly recommend that anyone that can possibly make it go. The UTC tournaments are our favorites of the year.

-Lee
Last edited by quizbowllee on Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by steven-lamp »

Was LAMP at the fun tournament? If so, how'd they do?

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Post by quizbowllee »

I believe that there was a 2nd "Fun" Tournament at LAMP this year... At any rate, LAMP was not at the one in Cullman.
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Post by DVader »

The Fun Tournament didn't do much to clear up the crystal ball that is Alabama Scholars Bowl but it did provide some interesting observations.

I was quite impressed at my fellow team members' level of playing considering this was their first tourament and that they only had two days of practice beforehand. With more practice I'm sure they will develop quite well. BTW, we had to leave due to other commitments for the team members that conflicted with staying for the playoffs.

Bob Jones played pretty well, only losing to us 250-220. A certain member of that team may want to work on his ego/sportsmanship/maturity issues and refrain from saying "You're going down, DJ!" and making comments after every question if he wants to be taken seriously. Other than that, I think they'll do pretty well for themselves.

The results of this tournament probably aren't the most representative of the true strength of the teams considering the absence of Grissom, CCA, LAMP, and many Bham area teams. CCA did make it to the quarterfinals at Ezell-Harding on the same day as the fun tournament against some very tough competition, so they will definitely be a team to be reckoned with. If a good selection of teams shows up at Hoover, then we'll get a better outlook on the strong teams in the state.
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Post by quizbowllee »

It looks like this coming Saturday's Bob Selcer Memorial Tournament in Chattanooga might show us a lot about Alabama. Here is the current field, as reported by tournament director Charlie Steinhice:

Bob Jones (AL) 2 teams (1 in JV)
Brindlee Mtn. (AL) 3 teams (2 in JV)
Covenant Christian (AL) 2 teams (1 in JV)
Dalton (GA) 1 team
Indian Springs (AL) 1 team
McMinn Co. 1 team
Ooltewah 1 team
Ringgold (GA) 1 team (JV), possibly 2
Sand Rock (AL) 1 team


Eight out of thirteen teams are from Alabama.
Last edited by quizbowllee on Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ASimPerson »

Is Mr. White still coaching at Bob Jones? If so, that's awesome that they're back.
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Post by DVader »

Yes, and Andrew Santi is the team captain.
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Post by quizbowllee »

It's great to see so many Alabama teams going to UTC. The biggest surprise is Sand Rock - a team that I saw at only one tournament last year (at Snead State CC). They did manage to make the playoffs at that tournament, so I wonder if perhaps they are experiencing some sort of shift in direction.
ASimPerson wrote:Is Mr. White still coaching at Bob Jones? If so, that's awesome that they're back.
I'm not really sure what you meant by this.... Where did they go? And, yes, Mr. White is still the coach.
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Post by ASimPerson »

DVader wrote:Yes...
Awesome!
...and Andrew Santi is the team captain
Wait, uh, what?
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Post by ASimPerson »

quizbowllee wrote:I'm not really sure what you meant by this.... Where did they go?
Well, this is just the first time in the two years since I graduated that they've gone to a non-Alabama event (I think), so I was slight (but pleasantly) surprised by reading that.
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Post by fancynancy »

Heh, Neel, remember me? It's Nancy...
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Post by Neel6989 »

Good luck at the Bob Selcer tournament to everyone who is going.

And yes, I remember you Nancy.

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Post by mentalchocolate »

we played Covenant Christian at Ezell and they seemed to be a very good team...im dont think we have played any other alabama team this year

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Post by quizbowllee »

Here's my report of Alabama teams from UTC's Bob Selcer Memorial Tournament.

First, let me say that Covenant Christian is very, very, VERY strong this year. In fact, they may be the best Alabama team I've seen in years. At UTC, Brindlee Mountain and CCA were in separate pools. Both ran the tables, went undefeated in the first 2 games of the playoff bracket, and went head-to-head in for the championship. Neither team had even a remotely close match all day, and both had scored over 500 points in at least one match.

The BMHS-CCA match was back-and-forth, with BMHS winning 195-150 at the half. The lead switched a few more times, but Carter from CCA managed to answer tossups 17, 18, and 19 - scoring 30,20,and 30 on the respective bonuses, and clenching the match. The final was 350-255 in CCA's favor.

The win was well deserved, as Carter managed to answer some science questions INSANELY fast. For example, he was able to get VSEPR off of less than a sentence. Soon afterwards, he got "integration" even faster. On all other subjects, it seemed about 50/50 on who got the tossups, but the science questions all went to CCA very fast. All said, CCA answered 10 tossups to Brindlee Mountain's 9.

I don't know all the scores, but I can post ours:

Round One:
BMHS - 470
Ringold A - 100

Round Two:
BMHS - 390
Sandrock - 135

Round Three: Bye

Round Four:
BMHS - 580
Cocke County - 40

Round Five:
BMHS - 360
Indian Springs - 220

Round Six:
BMHS - 415
Lincoln County - 170

Round Seven:
BMHS - 330
Morristown West - 80

Round Eight:
BMHS - 400
Bob Jones - 110

Round Nine:
BMHS - 265
Dalton - 190

Round Ten:
BMHS - 255
Covenant Christian - 350

In other areas, Indian Springs looked a whole lot better than they did at the fun tournament. They are still a strong team, and placed 3rd overall at the tournament. Bob Jones took heavy losses to Brindlee Mountain and Covenant Christian, but fared better against most everyone else and took 4th. Sasnd Rock, who was the only other Alabama team there, isn't bad at all and will probably be making waves in the years to come. It seems that they have a pretty dedicated coach who is looking to form a great team there.


In the JV division, I let my middle school "A" team play as a JV team... I thought I was throwing them to the sharks to try and show them how far they needed to come before stepping up to play in high school. However, they made an ass of me by WINNING the JV tournament. Go figure... Brindlee Mountain High School's JV team took 2nd in JV. There was much gloating by the middle school team on the bus ride home.

Finally, I'd like to point out the greatness of this tournament and the quality of questions. It is such a shame that we have to go out of state to play on such quality questions. All were pyramidal, allowing the team that knows the most to answer first - not just the team with the quickest reflexes. There were absolutely no hoses. All answers obeyed the pronoun rule, there were no trick questions, and if a question required more than one answer, it told you from the beginning. We need to push hard for these standards in ASCA and in all Alabama tournaments.

In conclusion, it looks like CCA might be the best this year. Still have to see Grissom, though...

PS - I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate Mark Morris of Brindlee Mountain A for his unbelievably insane buzz. He answered a question off of only 2 words: "Born Agnes..." Answer: Mother Theresa. Good job, Mark!

Next up: Hoover Oct. 15.
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Post by Neel6989 »

The best Alabama team in years? Now I'm dreading meeting them at District. :sad:

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Post by quizbowllee »

Neel6989 wrote:The best Alabama team in years? Now I'm dreading meeting them at District. :sad:
Well... I've seen a lot of teams over the last few years. Obviously I saw all the good teams last year. The year before that I had the opportunity to see Grissom w/Shiva when I was a moderator at ASCA district. I also got to see Slade play with Russellville.

In the years before that, I got to see LAMP with George, and I remember playing in the late 90's.

In all of that time, I never saw a performance like CCA's yesterday. They went 9-0 against some very tough teams, and from what I saw, they never scored under 400 points except in the round they played Brindlee Mountain.

They were a great team last year, but it seems that Carter has improved greatly. He was the tournament MVP with 101 ppg. Also consider that this great performance came without their #2 player, who was absent for some reason.

Unless this performance was a fluke, they are gonna be seriously hard to beat this year.
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

quizbowllee wrote:
Neel6989 wrote:The best Alabama team in years? Now I'm dreading meeting them at District. :sad:
Well... I've seen a lot of teams over the last few years. Obviously I saw all the good teams last year. The year before that I had the opportunity to see Grissom w/Shiva when I was a moderator at ASCA district. I also got to see Slade play with Russellville.

In the years before that, I got to see LAMP with George, and I remember playing in the late 90's.

In all of that time, I never saw a performance like CCA's yesterday. They went 9-0 against some very tough teams, and from what I saw, they never scored under 400 points except in the round they played Brindlee Mountain.

They were a great team last year, but it seems that Carter has improved greatly. He was the tournament MVP with 101 ppg. Also consider that this great performance came without their #2 player, who was absent for some reason.

Unless this performance was a fluke, they are gonna be seriously hard to beat this year.
This bunch gave us FITS my senior year. We played them 3 times that year, going 2-1, but all 3 were close (we won on the last question at NAQT, they beat us by 35 at the H'ville Tourney, and we beat them by 20 at ASCA State) I am not at all surprised at how well they're doing. It's just a shame that BMHS, Cullman, CCA, and Grissom are in the same district...
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Post by ASimPerson »

I had a chance to read 3 rounds for CCA on Saturday. They are scary good, and I hope they go to Vandy so we can see how they stack up against some of the other regional powers.

CCA's only weakness is probably ASCA format. Their main guy was getting most tossups closer to the beginning than the end, and so the shorter ASCA questions could cause him to lose his depth advantage.
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Post by quizbowllee »

ASimPerson wrote:CCA's only weakness is probably ASCA format. Their main guy was getting most tossups closer to the beginning than the end, and so the shorter ASCA questions could cause him to lose his depth advantage.
I would actually disagree with this. Judging from last year, I think that they are actually BETTER on ASCA questions. Brindlee Mountain beat them twice last year, both times by over 200 points, and both time on NAQT questions.

However, they flat out KILLED BMHS at the Huntsville Invitational and the ASFA tournament, both which used highly non-pyramidal, quick recall questions.

It seems that they are gonna get most of thier tossups in the first 20% of a question, regardless of question length. Hence, in a 5-line question, they will often answer it after line 1. However, this translates to answering a 20-word tossup in 4 words - which isn't much of a stretch for them.

Bottom line is that they are quick on the buzzer, and they seem to have a deep knowledge base - I'm not sure how broad that knowledge base is, though...
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Post by DVader »

I've seen CCA go both ways on ASCA format questions. We owned them last year in the Huntsville City finals but they've beaten us at other times with ASCA style questions and pyramidal ones. To be honest, too many factors go into the wins and losses of individual games to really draw any conclusions from them (ie momentum, who's playing, question content, dumb luck). Everyone is beatable if the situation is right. On a slightly unrelated note, who's going to be at Hoover on Saturday?
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Post by quizbowllee »

Brindlee Mountain will be at Hoover. I think I heard that Grissom was going to be there, too.
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Post by Captain Cullman »

Cullman will be at Hoover.

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Post by quizbowllee »

OK - Time for me to weigh in on the events at Hoover. In case anyone didn't see the results they are as follows:

1st - ASFA
2nd - Brindlee Mountain
3rd - Indian Springs
4th - Bob Jones

Note that ASFA was the only one of these four teams that was not in the same pool in the prelims... It's also interesting that no team went undefeated at the tournament, as ASFA lost a prelim match to Decatur.

Brindlee Mountain lost an early match to Bob Jones. This was due to some major mistakes on BMHS's part, and some really good play on Bob Jones's part. The real kicker was when Andy got tongue-tied and said "Collodi" instead of "Capote." That one caused me to snap the mechanical pencil with which I was keeping score.

BMHS also had a pretty close match against Buckhorn.

As I mentioned in the other thread, the questions at this tournament were full of hoses. BMHS just doesn't play well on this type of questions. David commented that Brindlee Mountain is weak in "non-fine arts" categories. I thought that was a very odd observation - and one that I don't agree with. Some coaches would be hesitant to come right out and say their team's weakness, but ours are so glaringly obvious, that I don't mind. Brindlee Mountain is very, very, very weak in math. Period. Also, BMHS is a very agressive team. However, after a day of hoses, they became very gunshy and hesitant - and this is the weakness that David and the rest of the ASFA crew was able to take advantage of in the championship. But, as I said, the main weakness is in non-pyramidal questions that are often full of hoses. For example, Bob Jones - with half of their starters missing - was able to defeat BMHS by 50 points at Hoover. However, just two weeks earlier, a full-strength Bob Jones lost 400-100 at UTC on pyramidal questions.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make excuses for our losing to ASFA. ASFA played like champions in the championship round. They were VERY impressive - and not just David. They have a young man who was a whiz at the math questions, too.

I do think, though, that if Andy (and the rest of the BMHS team) could have quit worrying so much about getting hosed on the questions, and kept their agressive spirit up, they would have given ASFA a much closer match. In fact, after the worksheet, I told them that all I wanted was for them to play like I knew they could on the 15-pointers. They did just that, and that was the only period that BMHS outscored ASFA - but it was too little and too late.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. Though, I would like to pose the question to David: how did you come about this theory that BMHS is weak in "non fine-arts categories"? What exactly falls under "fine arts" in this diagnosis? I'm not offended or anything, I'm just curious - and perhaps I'm blind to some weakness that you have noticed and that I can rectify.

Finally, as this is a "comparisons" thread, I'd like to propose an updated ranking for the state:

1st - Covenant Christian (still the most impressive I've seen)
2nd - 4th (too close to call) - ASFA, BMHS, Cullman
On the bubble: LAMP, Indian Springs, Bob Jones
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Post by MattSHS »

As to the comments in the other thread regarding the questions at Hoover, I have to agree with Coach Henry. The multiple-answer tossups were simply annoying. The "Ovid/Kafka" question got me, as well, but especially memorable was the "Fauvism/Cubism" one (concerning Matisse and Picasso, I believe?). My teammate buzzed in with "Fauvism" after hearing the first name and missed it. Bob Jones then answered all four bonuses, which were quite easy, correctly. This was especially disappointing considering we lost that game by only fifteen points. Errr.

Also, concerning BMHS and non-fine-arts questions, I really haven't noticed that weakness. Granted, they aren't the strongest team in math, but the team does seem to have a pretty solid grasp of important scientists/mathematicians, specific concepts, etc., so I seriously doubt what knowledge they do lack in these areas would ever be pivotal in deciding a match or anything. I do like how Andy takes a stab at those math questions the team doesn't know how to work, though. I mentioned this to my coach following our match, as I thought it was a good strategy. I'm usually fairly clutch on math tossups, and more than once in our match his guessing rattled me and broke my concentration. I think I may employ that tactic in the future. :)

The Hoover Tourney did provide a peek at what Alabama quiz bowl has to offer this year. We showed up in typical Southside fashion, dropping the crucial matches in an extremely close manner that just excluded us from the playoffs. On a side note, how did Cullman not finish in the top four?

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Post by Captain Cullman »

The first good team we played was Indian Springs in the quarterfinals. Our team was not ready for that round, and many of the questions in that round covered topics that I have never heard of before. Indian Springs was the better team that round.

Pool 2 had some bad readers. We had the same reader for the first 4 rounds. He read the questions well, but every time he said, "incorrect" to the other team on a math question he mumbled making it sound like "correct." Our team would stop working on math problems as soon as he did this. This happened in the fifteen point round against Pelham, and we went on to lose 170-155. I did not like the music questions because both of my teammates who are in band were at the Hoover Band Competition.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Matt, it's good to see you and your team represented on the board. If you read this whole thread, you probably noticed that I picked Southside to be one of the better teams in the state this year.

Daniel, congrats on the MVP at Hoover. It's too bad that you had some rotten luck against Indian Springs. Also, congrats to David and Matt for their individual scoring awards. You could've knocked me over with a feather when Mr. Rutsky said that Andy had outscored David and Matt Saturday. Though, if you noticed, the margin between Matt, David, and Andy was in the neighborhood of 1 point per game, and Daniel wasn't far ahead of that.

I'd venture to say that though the Hoover tournament gave all of the teams a good chance to play each other on ASCA format questions, I'm not sure how indicative of ASCA it really was. I know that Mr. Garrick (ASCA's offical question writer), does NOT intentionally write hoses, and he uses a very low percent of math in his questions.

Also, one has to factor in the very obvious absences of both Grissom and Covenant Christian... The Snead District is going to be fun this year (Brindlee Mountain, Covenant Christian, Grissom, Randolph, and any other Huntsville team that decides to show up all in one pool).

As for Indian Springs - they make me really, really nervous at this point. Somehow, we've managed to remain completely undefeated by ISS in our school's short history. We are now 8-0 against Springs (including the controversial win over them at NAQT last year). This actually makes me nervous because I know they are VERY due against us, and I'm afraid that when it comes, it'll be at state or some other critical point where we really need the win. There's no doubt that they have the potential to take us down, but so far luck has been on our side.

BTW - what is the next tournament that everyone is planning to attend? BMHS is going to a JV tournament at the U. of Georgia on Nov. 5. Some of the national powerhouse teams are gonna be there with their JVs, and since my starters are all in 10th grade, I thought this would be a good way to gauge how they might perform in the coming years.
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Post by DVader »

By non fine arts I meant mainly math and science and by weakness I meant in mainly in the math and science areas that Brindlee's team of tenth graders hasn't gotten to yet in the high school curriculum. It's a weakness they'll overcome as they take the higher level math and science classes. I had the same weakness too when I was in tenth grade. Other than that they are top notch. About that rug worksheet: it did include rug related items from many different knowledge areas (Group that sang "Magic Carpet Ride" question comes to mind), which is why I thought it was clever. The (Letter) worksheet routine gets old after awhile and it's good to see some new spins on it (see also Buckhorn's name that tune interactive worksheet from two years ago).
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Post by Neel6989 »

I agree 100% with David. There are certain things that 10th graders just don't know; in particular, high level math and science. Upperclassmen also tend to have control over history questions.

As for what I think Grissom's main weakness this year is...it has to be fine arts. For the past three years, we've counted on Steven for that, so we're kind of in the dark here. Hopefully we can piece something together.

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Post by quizbowllee »

For what it's worth, I've kind of come to the conclusion that the deficits caused by being an underclassman on a Varsity Quiz Bowl Team are negligible. The fact of the matter is that the Quiz Bowl Canon really doesn't follow the high school curriculum all that much. I remember that when I played, I started varsity as a freshman and did just fine. Little of the stuff I learned in classes during my Junior and Senior years actually helped my playing. I'd either already learned it BECAUSE of quiz bowl, or it just never came up.

I think this has a lot to do with coaching. For example, I know that my team needs to know things about The Defenestration of Prague, The English Civil War, etc. They know these things, and I don't think they've been covered in their classes. I know for a fact that I NEVER heard of the Defenestration of Prague when I was in high school, but it comes up several times a year in quiz bowl. In fact, it came up at Hoover and Andy got it very quickly.

Also, a few days of a crash course in science - including major scientists, experiments, theorems, gas laws, etc. and a freshman or sophomore team will be prepared for most high school quiz bowl questions. I know that I rarely answered any science questions that I actually learned in class...

The one area where this deficit definately does hurt us, as stated before, is in math. I would go so far to say, though, that if I as coach could remember how to do some of the math, I could probably prepare the team. Most teams share the weaknesses of their coach - and Brindlee Mountain is no exception. I used to be a math whiz in high school, but I finished my required college math courses when I was in 11th grade, and over the last 9 years, I've completely forgotten everything...

However, I would say that in all other areas, Brindlee Mountain is just as prepared (if not more so) than most upperclassmen. In fact, Andy was 2nd in the state last year at the State Beta Convention in the History (or Social Studes) competition - competing with upperclassmen. Mark Morris was also 2nd in the state in something.... I don't remember what, though.
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Post by steven-lamp »

I think that high school curriculum has a major effect on quiz bowl ability, especially with pyramidal questions. AP History courses are probably the single-most effective way to improve one's performance on, obviously, history questions, but also art/music movements and the history behind them, important works of literature, and, especially with AP European, a solid knowledge of important scientists of the period.
And at my high school our English department was pretty insane, and the background information I received about certain authors and works definitely helped me immensely in quiz bowl. I never looked at a single list once in high school, because, frankly, I suck at memorizing things, and everyone else on the team did, but I still was the high-scorer. Anyway, I think if you have a good AP curriculum at your high school, it will definitely help you immensely in improving as a player.

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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

steven-lamp wrote:Anyway, I think if you have a good AP curriculum at your high school, it will definitely help you immensely in improving as a player.
I think this is one of the things that hurt our old Russellville teams back in the day, especially when it came to science.
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Post by Neel6989 »

I'm not saying that you can't learn high level math and science as an underclassman. I'm just saying that it's definitely an advantage to have covered some of that stuff in a classroom setting.

Also, the US histories definitely are invaluable.

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Post by majormajormajormajor »

I'd have to agree with the statement, "I'm not saying that you can't learn high level math and science as an underclassman. I'm just saying that it's definitely an advantage to have covered some of that stuff in a classroom setting." When I learn math in a classroom setting it's normally easier for me to remember.
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Post by quizbowllee »

For what it's worth, stats have been posted for the tournament at UTC on October 1. They can be found here: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2005

Several Alabama schools were there. This is the tournament that solidified my feeling that Covenant Christian is the best in the state this year. Their numbers speak for themselves.
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a few things to clear up

Post by Grissom_is_better_than_yo »

First of all, Quizbowl Lee this is for you...Saying that CCA's team is the best in years is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS (Though you kind of backed off the statement in your next post...but reffering to me, Shiva, and my team 2 years ago is nonsense, because there were a string of captains before me, reaching back about 4 years that were flat out better than I was my senior year)... Did you ever see either Daniel Thomas or Blake Stacey (now at harvard and MIT respectively) play Quizbowl??? How about imagining them together. I've played CCA's team (though 2 years ago) and they are NOTHING compared to the grissom team 5 years ago with Daniel, Blake, Jerry, and Robby. Daniel and Blake were soooo good, they made it to Disney World (won ASCA) during their FRESHMAN YEARS!!!!! so before you go asserting that you've seen the end all-be all of Alabama academic teams, do some history homework, and basically admit that every grissom team that won (with the exception of my team 2 years ago that barely won) is probably better than the CCA team right now, and I'm not even bragging

I'd also like to say that there is a HUGE difference between Juniors and Sophomores, marked especially by a huge jump in intelligence and confindence in buzzing (and i can make this claim based solely on Grissom kids, including the jumps in buzzing that Daniel Thomas, Jerry Hsu, Robby Scott, me, and Steven Searcy made their junior years...and since they were basically one of the best teams in the state for about 7 years in a row, i'd say any trend coming out of Grissom is a trend anyone can assume is true)...Also there is no way any sophomore has had any Econ, Government, US History, BC Calc, or Physics, things that Seniors should have learned or are learning in some class by the time they enter tournaments, another HUGE advantage for upperclassmen in quizbowl (There is a reason most state winners have had seniors as Captains)...

p.s. ASCA state is a funny thing...the best team doesn't always win, and i'd put money on, regardless of how good they are, CCA losing. Whenever you have to bet between one team and the field, ALWAYS pick the field...unless its the Patriots...and not this year with the patriots (i hope someone who reads this gets the humor and the underlying biting sarcasm i placed in the last part of this post)

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last post

Post by Grissom_is_better_than_yo »

I dare anyone to refute me on either of the three statements i made in my last post (especially the first one, I can rip anyone apart who thinks there has been a better team than Daniel and Blake as seniors with robby as a sophomore and Jerry as a junior, in nearly the last decade)...

but two things i want to clear up
1. my name is supposed to be Grissom_is_better_than_you, tactful i know, but i don't think Grissom gets enough hype for being so good, for so long, every year

2. More importantly...NEEL, what are you thinking fearing to play someone in District?!?!?!?!?!...SCREW DISTRICT, you are from Grissom, you can make it to state even if you force everyone on the team to close their eyes and ears and buzz with their mouths only...you shouldn't fear to play anyone, AT least the teams i was on always had to deal with SLADE, and Robby taught me to believe that we could win every game we played, and we usually did, whether we deserved to or not...you are probably better than you think, and being from Grissom, you should assume that you are favored in EVERY tournament you enter...think about it this way, the powers that be completely stack the state tournament against you (less proportion of math and science questions at ASCA then fine arts and lit questions), and we still win out every other year...thats how much they respect us (and please, no one refute that there are less math and science questions then other questions, and definately don't refute the fact that North Alabama is better at those specific questions than Southern schools). I hope you were just trying to be nice, otherwise i'm going have to come down there and whip you guys in shape...

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Post by bigtrain »

GRISSOM IS GONNA FEENIS EVERYONE'S TODDS!!!!!! No, really man, they are. :eyebrow:
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