Alabama '05-'06

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Post by quizbowllee »

Thanks for the insight, Neel. It's still amazing that you guys are as good as you are. So much of quiz bowl knowledge just isn't covered in high school classes, no matter how advanced those classes are. Perhaps Grissom is the exception to that rule.

As for regionals, yes, there will be more than one team that gets shafted. You said that there were 5 "great teams." I'm assuming that you meant BMHS, CCA, Bob Jones, Cullman, and Grissom. Depending on how you look at it, I'd say that Buckhorn, Catholic, and Austin all deserve to go to state as well. I promise that there will be teams at state that are exponentially weaker than those teams. That's what's such a shame about this system. Perhaps I'm crazy, but I just think that the BEST 16 teams should go to state.

As for us, I've had one "A" team member cross the little proverbial picket line that they have made... I'll know more this afternoon about how close to full strength we will be.
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Post by Hobodog »

Neel6989 wrote:Okay, as the only Grissom poster here, I'll answer your questions.

I'm not particularly sure why we don't go to tournamnets other than ASCA very often. I honsetly can't think of a good reason. The only thing I can come up with is that I don't think we care as much as most of you guys, and that's something I very much regret, but oh well. Our coach tells us about tournaments a lot and asks us if we want to go, but most of the time we just forget to give her a straight answser. Our fault entirely.

As to how we seem to be good year after year without going anywhere, I can assure you it isn't from memorizing information from 8-5. I'd say we practice no more than the rest of you, 3:30-4:30 on mondays and thursdays. The best explanation I can come up with is that Grissom just has a very strong academic program. By the time our members get to be seniors, they have at least 2 AP sciences, 2 AP englihses, 2-3 AP histories, and Calculus under their belt. Needless to say, those classes help a LOT. We also have a fairly strong math team and have at least one brilliant math student per year. (This year is probably our weakest math year in a long while.)

And David, it's not that you should be willing to bet that at least one good team will get the short end of the stick, that's guaranteed with 5 very good teams and 4 spots. The only real question here is if more than one great team wlil get shafted.
I completely understand, its just I don't understand why we can't be that good because there is no way I can believe that the Academic program at Mountain Brook at the quality of our students is, in any way, inferior to Grissom's year in and year out. Maybe we just have trouble getting the best students to due Scholar's bowl, maybe a stigmata against it, maybe because of a super debate team and theatre program, I don't know, but we should be better than we are.

Lets see, I have 2 AP Sciences, 2 AP Eng., AP Calc BC, 2 AP Social Sciences...one of our members has 3 AP Sciences, 2 AP Eng, AP Calc BC, 3 AP Social Sciences...our academic program...
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Post by Neel6989 »

Oops
Last edited by Neel6989 on Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Neel6989 »

Hmm...well I don't think it is necessary to have the BEST 16 at state, I just think any team that could possibly make a run at the championship should be there. To be blunt, I dont think Austin, Buckhorn, or Catholic will be winning ASCA this year, so I wouldn't be devastated if thye didn't make it to state. However, Brindlee, CCA, Cullman, Bob Jones, and Grissom each have at least a decent shot at the chamionship, so it's awful that AT LEAST one of those teams won't have a shot at state.
quizbowllee wrote:Thanks for the insight, Neel. It's still amazing that you guys are as good as you are. So much of quiz bowl knowledge just isn't covered in high school classes, no matter how advanced those classes are. Perhaps Grissom is the exception to that rule.
Well, I'd say ALL our history needs are met by a combination of AP Euro and AP US. The computational Math is covered entirely by math team and AP Physics. Science is probably a fairly weak area for us, but we're not terrible at it; this is not to say that we don't cover the science. Just the way we learn science in school and the way quiz bowl words their questions seem to be at odds.

Finally, Language arts and fine arts are the subjects that Grissom dose not tend to focus on in its curriculum. However, for art the past few years, we've had a student who took a basic art history course at UAH(The course clears our Grissom's fine arts requirement AND gives us AP credit for it). Also, every year we have our literature buff who just loves his books.

In conclusion, every year's Grissom team will always be comparable to the previous year. The only differences are the exceptional abilities of certain players (Such as Steven's knowledge of composers last year, we're still feeling that one)

Another possible explanation for why Grissom tends to be pretty good is that three middle schools all with fairly strong quiz bowl programs feed into Grissom. I know when I was in 8th grade, I believe all three schools (Mountain Gap, Challenger, and Whitesburg) made it to state and did fairly well. However, this may change in recent years since Whitesburg seems to be dominating the other two.
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

I firmly blame Russellville's lack of AP classes (we only had 2 when I was a freshman, and by my junior year, they were both gone) on us not winning at least one state title when I was there. No doubt Grissom has a better academic record than MOST ASCA schools (I guess JCIB and Mountain Brook could argue they're better).
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Post by Hobodog »

What Grissom does is tremendous and I honestly think that given a proper program Mountain Brook, Vestavia, and possibly JCIB should be able to replicate the same kind of success. I don't know the current state of SB at our Junior High but I think its not anywhere near what it was when it was creating those state finalist teams that we had some years back. I think maybe what I need to do is write up a new guideline for our tryouts. Instead of the sorry word-of-mouth system we've been using I should convince the AP and Advanced teachers to push the tryouts on the best students. Get recommendations from 9th grades teachers, etc. (anothe thing that hurts us, becuase we have a Junior High, ASCA middle-school based strucutre means that to have a 9th grade team would require what was essentially a third branch of SB unless the JH could get their kids a free period for their last period and a ride on one of the Athletic busses. [which could be a problem because the ENTIRE school system only owns 4 busses of which one is a half-size bus and another damaged its transaxle recently from what I heard.] (for the record we have 24 or 25 AP classes, thats not including music theory which isn't being taught this year because no one took it)

Bad news, so I just realized that April 15 is probably the date of the Mountain Brook Invitational. I'm not sure if we have set that date yet but it just occured to me that might be the weekend we use.
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Post by quizbowllee »

On a barely related note.... Brindlee Mountain Middle School's team will be heading down to Montgomery for the ASCA Middle School State Tournament. We're 40-2 on the year, but haven't played Pizitz or Whitesburg.
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Post by Hobodog »

Well, good luck, I haven't seen pizitz this year (saw them once last year) but they seemed pretty good. Not as good as they were in year's past but still pretty good. Then again, what do I know about MS SB.
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Post by Matthew D »

we will see you down there Lee.. Wish you luck up to the point that we have to play you guys :wink:
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Post by Neel6989 »

Whitesburg is scary good. I read two rounds for them at district and I was thoroughly amazed.
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Post by Matthew D »

They were in the other pool, so I didn't get to see them play.. so thanks for the info
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Post by quizbowllee »

Well, Brindlee Mountain didn't win the ASCA Middle School Title this year... We were 6-0 in the prelims and played Whitesburg in the quarter-finals. It was an absolute barnburner, resulting in us losing by one tossup, keeping us out of the top 4.

Does anyone know who won? We left after our loss.

But, at least this year we have a shot at another state championship - The NAQT Middle School Championship.
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Post by steven-lamp »

1. Bumpus
2. Hartselle
3. Whitesburg
4. Oak Mountain

Funny, I read the consolation round and I'm not totally sure that the 3 and 4 I listed are correct. I don't really remember.
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Post by Matthew D »

Well I am semi happy with how we did yesterday.
Steven, I wish I had known you were down there.. I would have at least said hi..

True Lee but I better starting getting some interest on this from the teams..
Right now I have only heard maybe's from

Russellville
Pizitz
Alabama Ave
Rainbow
Cullman
Brewerton
Oxford

And firm from
Brindlee Mt
Scottsboro
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Post by steven-lamp »

I moderated preliminary pool B then did the quarterfinals, semifinals, and consolation match. If you were in pool C you probably had my mom as a reader, I think she was in C3??? (Woman with red hair.)
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Post by Matthew D »

I was in the A pool upstairs.
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Post by quizbowllee »

For what it is worth, Brindlee Mountain will be at full strength at regionals. They've come a long way so far this week. I'm very proud of them, regardless of what happens Saturday.
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Post by Hobodog »

Ok...I'm...lets lay it down right now. Who, if the state tournament were held today, would you expect to come out the last one standing? CCA, Grissom, ISS?
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Post by Matthew D »

If they are playing at their top game.. I would hold out for my guys at BMHS.. then CCA, followed up by ISS
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Post by quizbowllee »

Matthew D wrote:If they are playing at their top game.. I would hold out for my guys at BMHS.. then CCA, followed up by ISS
Thanks, Matt. We'll see what they bring to the table on Saturday.

I will say that there are a lot of teams that I would put above ISS this year. Among them are: Grissom, Cullman, ASFA, Bob Jones, CCA, and Austin.

As for us, we've had a spectacular record against Indian Springs. We've only EVER lost to them once, and that was in the consolation match at Bob Jones that was almost entirely pop culture. Lizzie from ISS owned that round.

We never lost to ISS at all last year, even though they won ASCA state. Plus, they're not anywhere near as good as they were last year.



Also, you have to consider whether by "state" you mean ASCA or NAQT. I will go out on a limb and say that CCA, Brindlee Mountain, and LAMP are the top contenders for the NAQT title.
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Post by Neel6989 »

Lee, did your team ever beat a full strength ISS team though? Evan or James alone would be fairly beatable I imagine, just together they were amazing. I'm not trying to take shots at your team or anything, you guys are amazing, especially for a group of underclassman. I just don't think last year's springs team is getting their full due.
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Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

I think we may have once. Maybe not though. If we did, however, it was only once.
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Post by quizbowllee »

We beat them at full strength twice last year.

As for them not getting their "full due," they were a great team. I'm not denying that. I don't think that they were the best team in the state. I honestly think that CCA was (and probably still is). I'm simply saying that THIS year, they're most definitely not the best team.
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Post by Neel6989 »

I'd say ISS was better than CCA, but I'm probably biased since I don't think a Grissom team hasn beaten an ISS team in 3 years.
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Post by quizbowllee »

I think a lot of this comes from each team's individual strengths. For example, Brindlee Mountain is strong in humanities - history, art, music, lit, etc. These seemed to be the biggest strengths of Indian Springs, and we just seemed to beat them on these areas. Throw in an occassional science question that we could get, and we just seemed to always beat them. I really wish we could have played ISS instead of Grissom in the semi-final match at ASCA state last year. I'm pretty sure that we would've won.

In contrast, CCA was good at what we were good at. However, they are also REALLY good in science and math, our two weaknesses. They just seemed to have the right combination of ingredients to consistently beat us. The same could be said of Grissom. Their strengths were just at odds with ours, leading to them beating us both times we played.

Psychology also plays a big part in Brindlee Mountain and CCA's rivalry. It seems that whenever one team or the other takes a large lead, the other team rolls over and dies. CCA has come out strong against us many, many times and I've had to watch my team take a merciless beating. However, the two times that we ever came out and played CCA hard from the beginning and out up a big early lead, CCA crumbled and we beat them by 200+ points. It seems it's all about momentum sometimes.

Whatever the causes of these strange anomalies, I'm sincerely hoping the Brindlee Mountain and CCA are NOT in the same pool Saturday. There's just too much history in that rivalry, and it hasn't historically gone well for Brindlee Mountain.
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Post by Neel6989 »

Just curious, who all is coming to the Huntsville City Inivitational on Monday? Once again, I'm bummed that they won't just give Grissom a team or at least put all 3 Grissom students on the same team, but they never really listen to us.

Oh yeah, and good luck at regionals everyone.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Brindlee Mountain will have two teams at the Huntsville Invitational.
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Post by quizbowllee »

We're the ones that got shafted....

Pool A:
Covenant Christian
Bob Jones

Pool B:
Grissom
Cullman

We beat Cullman in the first round, lost to Grissom, beat Catholic, and then for some reason sat there and let Austin beat us in the 15-pointers. That made us, Austin, and Cullman tied at 2-2, but Cullman had 120 more points than we did.
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Post by Neel6989 »

Yeah....I'll say that the pools were as fair as they were going to get given the teams in the AJHS region. It's terrible that the Brindlee Mountain guys got the short end of the stick; you guys are no doubt one of the best in state.
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Post by DVader »

No shafting at the Rainbow Middle Regional:
Yellow Pool:
ASFA (4-0)
Southside (3-1)

Blue Pool:
Indian Springs (4-0)
Hoover (3-1)

Today was a very good day for us. We played in top form, scoring over 300 points in each game including a 400 point round and had the highest average score out of all the teams there, even though we only had four people. We drew a good pool with Pelham, Jacksonville, Westbrook, and Southside. I liked the questions although I noticed a couple repeat ones. Otherwise the tournament was pretty uneventful. Sorry to hear about your loss, Lee. Nice to see Bob Jones make it, though. I look forward to facing them at state.

We'll be bringing a team to Huntsville on Monday.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Congrats to those who made it to state. We'll now focus 100% on NAQT and PACE (which is what we basically do anyway). For some reason, ASCA is just not our forte. I always seem to talk up our team, but you just have to see what I see to understand it. The team that I have in practice is just not the team that shows up at tournaments anymore for some reason. Those few of you who have seen BMHS "bring it" like I have know what I mean. I can't explain what happens to them in "do or die" situations. When and if they ever sort out whatever barrier they have, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the world of quiz bowl. As their coach, though, I've finally realized that there's nothing I can do about it. It's up to them to figure out what's keeping them from winning and to fix it. All I can do is teach them what I can and support them unconditionally.

Good luck to all who made it to state. Also, we'll see most of you Monday in Huntsville.
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

Dang...Brindlee Mountain doesn't make it, and the following teams in the Shoals/Tuscaloosa area do:

Pool A:
Muscle Shoals-208 ppg
American Christian-231 ppg

Pool B:
Hillcrest-231.25 ppg
Holy Spirit-226.25 ppg

It wasn't the best I've ever seen...Muscle Shoals even won one match scoring a grand total of 95 points
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Post by Matthew D »

you have got to be kidding me... 95 points..

Lee, sorry about not going on at ASCA
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

Matthew D wrote:you have got to be kidding me... 95 points..

Lee, sorry about not going on at ASCA
Unfortunately, I'm not. Muscle Shoals did look good the one time I saw them...against Russellville. But, they also lost to ACA in their last match by like 100, too.
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Post by Bravo »

This looks like a really active board. I had no idea that Alabama had such an active quiz bowl circuit. We (Auburn) were at the Regionals in Montgomery and here were the teams that advanced.

Pool A
LAMP
Bayside Academy

Pool B
St. Paul's
Auburn

This is our first year in Scholar's bowl so we're really excited to have made it to state, partly in thanks to a pretty weak field. I think that we were pretty good a couple year ago but our program died and has not been restarded till this year. I wish we would have regular practices but so far we have had a grand total of 2 practices and gone to 2 tournaments (mainly because of funding). By the way, this is more for next year when I think our team will improve, what is PACE and NAQT and how do you qualify for those tournaments?

I think that Auburn has the potential to be great because the school has a lot of talent if we only could get a dedicated coach and practice regularly.

Also, are there 16 teams to go state? and what is the format (round-robin, pool play?)

Teams Advancing to State
LAMP
Bayside Academy
St. Paul's
Auburn
ASFA
Southside
Indian Springs
Hoover
Muscle Shoals
American Christian
Hillcrest
Holy Spirit
Covenant Christian
Bob Jones
Grissom
Cullman
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Post by Matthew D »

Yes most of North Alabama is pretty active in Quiz Bowl. Just make sure you guys try to come up next year. I know that Lee will be having at least one HS tournament and one middle school tournament. I will be also hosting at least 2 middle school and 1 HS tournament next year at Scottsboro.
Congrats on making it to the state your first year, we know that feeling at Scottsboro because my middle school team did the same thing..

As for PAC and NAQT, all you have to do is do well at a tournament that has a qualification for either and you are there. I know Brindlee Mountain is a qualifier for both at their HS tournament. And I am hoping to do the same for my HS tournament next year..
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Post by Golden Tiger 86 »

Auburn finally restarted that program? Nice to hear, they were a great team back in the day.
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Post by DVader »

Results from Huntsville City Invitational:
1st: CCA
2nd: ASFA
Semis: Bob Jones, LAMP

In another day of hard fought quiz bowl, ASFA and CCA met in the final round to decide the tournament. This time CCA came out on top. Overall, we had a very good day with strong playing. There were a couple of scares and the loss in the finals but otherwise we played hard and fast.
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Post by Neel6989 »

Congrats. As for Huntsville A, CCA totally stomped us first round of the playoffs. We were leading going into the final period but I think they got something like 8 of the last 10 tossups; it was quite amazing.
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Post by mf_2 »

How did Brindlee Mountain do at the Huntsville Invitational?
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Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

We lost to LAMP on a third tie breaker in the quarterfinals.
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Post by Hobodog »

Well its looking quite likely that we won't play another match as a team this year. Sad to say it but I think it might be inevitable. I will do my best to get together and possibly drill a team for NAQT state but we are already probably short some of our best players so I would have to pull up and prepare sophmores and probably go out into the school and find some of my friends. We could still end up being good because there are 3 or 4 guys I know of that are easily good enough to make our top 6 and probably our top 4 who just don't have time for SB anymore...well...we will see I guess. Forming scratch team might actually be sort of fun if I can get the right people.


Otherwise, congrats to those of you who made it to state. I wish we could be there with you because I now know that we can duel with the best in the state and come out on top if we are playing on top of things. Well, cheers...I'm out. (really sort of a sad revelation that if I don't do QB at Georgia Tech this could be my last time...)
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Post by NRLYAGODD »

Hey David John, it looks like Bob Jones is doing okay this year. Is Lymphoma tearing it up or do they have good underclassmen? You two are the only two guys left I've ever seen play.
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Post by DVader »

Lymphoma is tearing it up pretty well, and they have a few players that came on board after I left. Lymphoma actually got second highest individual scorer at the tournament (I got fourth highest mainly because my team members were stepping it up that day, which is always good). His playing skills have improved a lot since you last saw him play but he still has those "sportsmanship" issues.
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Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

I really don't have a problem with Andrew (and why exactly do you call him Lymphoma?) that much, mainly because I used to and still am that way sometimes. I guess I can just relate to him better.

How many points did you have David? I know Andrew had 520, and the main reason I was able to take MVP with 580 was the 205 round I had.

Hobo, it really sucks that NAQT State might be your last stand. I know my senior year I'm going to be regretting not stepping up and being as good as I can be.

Also, who's going to be bringing a team to Snead NAQT on the 31st?
Andy Knowles
Brindlee Mountain, '08
University of Alabama, '12
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quizbowllee
Auron
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Post by quizbowllee »

AndyBrindlee Mountain wrote:
Hobo, it really sucks that NAQT State might be your last stand. I know my senior year I'm going to be regretting not stepping up and being as good as I can be.
Or.... you could step up and be as good as you can.... :cool:
Lee Henry
AP English Teacher
Quiz Bowl Coach
West Point High School
Cullman, AL
Neel6989
Lulu
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Post by Neel6989 »

Anyone got the stats for the Huntsville City tournament? Player points and team points, thanks in advance if anyone has them.
Somerled
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Post by Somerled »

CCA will be at Snead NAQT on the 31st.
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AndyShootsAndyScores
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Post by AndyShootsAndyScores »

Neel, I'm pretty sure you got either 3rd or 5th in individual scoring.
Andy Knowles
Brindlee Mountain, '08
University of Alabama, '12
NRLYAGODD
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Post by NRLYAGODD »

The reason I call Andrew "Lymphoma" is because during practice his freshmen year (my senior year), there was a question where he had an early buzz and answered "Lymphoma" very confidently and was horribly horribly wrong (the actual answer was China I think). I don't remember the question anymore, but I remember at the point he buzzed in, none of us would have guessed lymphoma in a million years. So yeah, the nickname was born that day. Since there were very few freshmen his year, I doubt anyone else called him that after my class graduated.
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