NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

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NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by nick. »

It's that time of year, so the question now lies. What teams will do well next year in the Tri-State Circuit? What teams will rise high, and what teams will crumble? A poll will probably come around later, but for now, this space is good for predictions.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Josh Yi »

I think that Hunter will be extremely dominant going into next year, with a bunch of teams far behind them. High Tech, EB, Livi, and Millburn seem like contenders for second. More predictions later.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by amundhe »

Okay, so I don't know much about Quiz Bowl in PA or DE, and my experiences with NY and CT are pretty limited. With that being said, I would like to highlight certain teams (and players) who I think will really make a name for themselves next year. I don't intend for this to be ordered as a rankings, but I'd like to talk about some teams that I feel comfortable making statements about.

Hunter College High School
Hunter is scarily good and has so many good players. I believe they have enough people to field 3 very competitive teams, like they did at PHSAT. I'm going to attempt to guess what their teams will be for the sake of these predictions. Their A Team (class of 2021) is frightening, particularly in history, where Pedro Juan Orduz is one of the top players in the country. They were the number one team in the country according to Groger Ranks, so expect them to be extremely dominant this year. Their B Team ('22 and 23) is also very good. Led by the mercurial Andrew Zeng, this team will be frightening. Andrew has been a top scorer on Hunter A when he's played there, and but I'll predict him to be on the B team. By himself, Andrew is extremely good at history and literature, and his teammates on this predicted team include MSNCT winners. I predict their C team to be made of their current MS players. Impressively, they were able to snag 1st, 3rd, and 5th at the NJ States tournament and show every indication of a seamless transition to the HS level.

High Tech
High Tech is another big dynasty in the Northeast, and its a sure bet that their success will continue. I predict their A Team, led by Deepak Gopalakrishnan (a great generalist who is particularly excellent at hist/geo) and Max Brodsky (one of the top FA players in the country), now adds players from a top-100 B Team in the country. Hitek always gets a lot of people, so I'd expect their B (and possibly C) teams to be very good as well.

East Brunswick
East Brunswick this year really established themselves as a powerhouse to be reckoned with. While they lose a crazy number of seniors, their class of '21 is led by Joshua Yi, who is easily a sci/history player in the region (and even the country). Their hardworking crop of players are improving at crazy rates, so don't be surprised by the absolutely bonkers statlines you'll see next season. Additionally, they get fantastic players from Churchill Junior High School who have achieved a lot in their 9th grade year who will contribute in large part to the success of their A team, as well as the success of East Brunswick B.

Livingston
Livingston, much like Hunter, is led primarily by members of the class of '21. Generalist Carolyn Meng will continue being a threat, gobbling up questions everywhere, while lit specialist Rosa Xia is one of the best (if not the best) in her category in the NY Tristate Area. This team is absurd at bonuses already, but in their senior year, I predict that their power percentage will drastically increase. Their B Team does seem a bit unstable compared to some of the other top teams in the region, but expect their dedicated team to really pull off some big wins.

Millburn
While Millburn loses many players in their talented senior class, it still has a solid core led by science player Ben Hu. He is one of the top science players in the region, but is also quite good at history. Millburn also garners large amounts of players for their team, so despite what it may seem, Millburn is far from a one-man team. Their stats at Livingston New Year's Novice show that Ben Hu will have a good supporting cast and that they will be a real challenge to face.

Teterboro
Expect Nick Zhang to really reap the benefits of writing TAPIR by himself and really come into his own over his senior year. Teterboro's performances have always been a bit variable, but at his best, Nick Zhang is a generalist capable of powering in any category. While he loses many of his supporting cast members from HSNCT 2019, he still has a decent supporting cast who are capable of buzzing in at crucial times. Still, expect this team to live and die at the whims of its star player, but they have the potential to upset any top team.

Ridgewood
Ridgewood loses one of their best players to graudation, but the rest of their A team all return. Aiden Dartley is a fantastic history-based generalist who has improved crazy amounts; expect his growth to continue. Their supporting cast is filled with a lot of niche specialists, such as geo/CE/trash player Nick Pruitt who will undoubtedly make this team a big threat on NAQT sets. Ridgewood's program is growing a lot, so expect their B team to improve as well, particularly as their middle schools keep pumping out players. As captain of Ridgewood, I'm not planning on having set teams for most of the season, so expect our early season performance to be variable as I tinker with different groups of players.

Hotchkiss
In about one summer, Hotchkiss grew from being a decent team to a team capable of buzzing on any category. Cooper Roh is a particularly impressive history player who is able to absolutely dominate that category at a regs level. Their performance at Clarke Fall, as well as literally any NHBB tournament, shows that they are an excellent team, but winning Bardbowl was massive for them. Expect them to keep building off of this, especially as they are a hardworking group of players with excellent chemistry, so they could be absolutely terrifying to play, especially towards the end of the year.

Wilton
Although he loses his brother, Lukas Koutsoukos is an excellent player. Last year, he was one of the top freshmen in the area with just his history/geo coverage, but he is expanding into categories like lit and FA. The other Wilton team, led by Anjo Therattil, find themselves in a similar position. Anjo is good at history, but his knowledge isn't as deep in other areas of the canon. Both teams, though, are capable of impressive wins and can cause many teams made of older players to have much closer games than they'd like.

Darien
Darien, led by Alex DelVecchio, is a very good team. In the 19-20 season, their team selection was absolutely bonkers, but when playing with their top players, they managed to get second at Clarke Fall, a tournament with a very stacked field. Darien already has good players in many categories, so they should continue to be a tough team to beat; I struggled to get a single question against them at Clarke Fall. With top talent coming in from Middlesex Middle School, the sky is the limit for Darien in the future as players in one of the nation's best MS programs graduate to play at the next level.

Staples
I thought I'd end this by previewing Staples, who are new to the circuit. Yes, Staples is a real team. They're rapidly improving under their star player, Aalok Bhattacharya, who has tons of experience in History Bee and Science Olympiad. He's been working quite hard to translate that knowledge into quiz bowl. Staples is playing many online tournaments, so those results should serve as a good starting point for this team. While I don't expect them to be the greatest, Staples is sure to be a threat in years to come.

I've previewed every team that I'm somewhat familiar with, but there are so many teams that I really don't believe I know enough about to mention (probably as a result of not playing many of the tournaments my teammates did). If I didn't mention you, I'd love to learn about your team and hopefully play next year, especially because this is my last year of HS Quizbowl. I'm looking forward to a competitive season next year, and seeing these cool people at tournaments will be a blast. Rooting for all these teams at nationals (and following them on Groger Ranks) will be a ton of fun!
Last edited by amundhe on Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by thederpyaxolotl »

1.Hunter A retains everyone but Asher from their top ranked team from this year, and should be one of the top teams in the country. They’re the clear #1 in the region, and probably in the country. Their incredible coverage over everything should serve them well on NAQT and mACF. Rachel or Andrew would both be strong complements to Cerulean, Ben and Pedro.

2. East Brunswick A loses most of their A and B teams, but they have two study fiends in Josh and Lillian. They also bring up Tanuj from Churchill, who won JV Bee at Ridgewood. They have plenty of depth to bring up as well, so they should be able to find someone to cover their holes. They’ll probably be stronger on mACF than NAQT, since their trash and geo are relatively weak.

3. High Tech A loses most of their A team, but keep core players Max, who has branched out and is one of the top FA players in the country, and Deepak. Alex and Sammy seem like they’ll round A team next year. They’ve always had incredible depth, so they should be able to find people to round out their lineup even if they don’t.

4. Hunter B — probably some combination of their B and C teams from this year, but regardless, they’ll be pretty good. Jacob and Ian are already incredible players, and with an extra year, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. They need to sort out their negs, but they can really pop off and surprise a lot of people this year.

5. Hotchkiss apparently keeps everyone, and Cooper and Jack are an incredible duo, and Yihan and Sachin seem like very good players in their own right. I haven't played them at any tournaments, so I can't elaborate much, but they will definitely be an impressive team.

6. Ridgewood A loses Philip, but they retain Aum, Nick and Aiden. They’ll have a really big hole in science, which will hold them back, but they'll have history locked down. They’re definitely an NAQTeam with Nick and Aum’s trash and geo coverage. They’re pretty underrated, and could be a dark horse if Aiden keeps up his studying.

7. Livingston A retains everyone, but I’m not sure how much we’re going to study/how well I can cover history, so we could really be anywhere from 3rd down to 8th depending on how the other teams play out. We’ll bring up some really good sci coverage in Jeffrey, but we’re more of an NAQTeam because of our trash/CE coverage. Out power count leaves a lot to be desired, so we’ll lose a ton to top teams.

8. Teterboro keeps their main scorer in Nick Zhang, so they should be pretty good. They lose their second scorer in Rohit, though, and Nick can be streaky at times, so I’m not sure how high I would rank them without knowing their other players, who I don’t really know. Their other players didn’t perform super well at tournaments this year, so where Teterboro ends up remains to be seen.

9. Millburn takes a huge hit this year with the graduation of Dean, though they retain Ben, who covers sci and religion very well and has some history knowledge. They have huge holes on literature and other categories, so they have to find someone to cover that.

10. Choate is the dark horse in the region next year. I’m not sure what their teams will look like, since I’m not sure who’s graduating, but they performed really well this year as a new team and only stand to improve.

Honorable mentions:
BCA has Maia, who should be pretty good this year. I don’t know much about the rest of their team, though.

Darien loses John, and they don’t seem to have anyone coming up. Middlesex is usually quite strong though so they probably have someone.

Wilton still has Lukas, who’s been a really strong player, and he’ll continue to improve. They won’t contend this year, but they should be really good in the next couple years.
Last edited by thederpyaxolotl on Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Snoopy »

Curious: how many years in a row has Hunter been the undisputed #1 now? 6? 7?
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by High Dependency Unit »

Snoopy wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:22 am Curious: how many years in a row has Hunter been the undisputed #1 now? 6? 7?
4-5 -- Hunter may not have been the undisputed #1 even in 2015-16, considering they didn't even expect do be playing post-lunch at HSNCT that year (back when Sunday was playoffs-only). High Tech was #1 when I started high school and it was probably that way my sophomore year (14-15) as well.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War »

Agree with Michael; Hunter 2014 and 2015 won no legit tournaments so far as I can remember, and Hunter 2016 won only a few. Certainly not undisputed number 1.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Josh Yi »

Hi everyone, here are the rankings Lily Zhu and I put together. Take our rankings between 3-8 with a grain of salt, as all those teams have huge potential to improve over the summer.

1. Hunter A was very strong this year and they keep nearly everyone. Pedro and Cerulean are both very scary history/CE players, and Andrew and Ben Chapman contribute lit and sci coverage. Overall, a very solid, well-rounded team. They will be uncontested 1st in the region, and perhaps the nation. Hunter A will likely win any tournament they go to.

2. High Tech is probably second going into this season. They keep Deepak, who is a strong Hist/Sci based generalist, as well as Max, who is among the top FA players in the nation. They both scale very well, but will struggle with lit coverage and sci coverage at regs+ levels. However, their program is quite deep, so they can probably fill their holes.

3. EB graduates nearly our entire A and B team this year, so we'll be considerably weakened. We keep Josh, a hist based generalist as well as promote Lily, a literature specialist to A team. Although we gain Tanuj/Simon, who went 1 and 4 at NJ States NHBB JV bee respectively, we have to make up gaps in FA and CE/Geo/Trash. Our performance will depend heavily on how much we study during the summer, with an emphasis on me being able to expand into sci and fill our many gaps.

4. Hunter B is also very strong, as their program has crazy depth. Ian and Jacob are both very strong history players, and may expand into other categories over the summer. Rachel will be a scary lit player next year, and they will likely gain even more talented middle schoolers. Rosters aren't finalized and are likely to change throughout the year but no matter what team Hunter sends, it's bound to be good.

5. Livingston keeps everyone. Carolyn is a very good generalist, and Rosa is probably first or second in the region for lit. Veena and Carolyn combined, have a very solid base in visual fine arts. Jason is an excellent NAQT player covering Geo/CE and American History. If they are to rise in rankings, they have to work on increasing their power count instead of 10ing teams to death. Their performance will depend a lot on how well Carolyn can cover sci and history next year.

T-6. Hotchkiss’s main scorer is Cooper, who is very good at history. Similar to Hunter, they keep nearly everyone. Based on their performances at Bardbowl and Qubit this year, they will probably have a chance to move up in the rankings, potentially defeating some of the top teams, although they suffer from lack of sci coverage. They will likely be very variable next year.

T-6. Ridgewood loses their top scorer Philip, but Aum and Aiden are both good generalists, and Nick provides very good geo as well. They will likely have history on lock against most teams, and Aum and Aiden should be able to hit the rest of the distro. Their performance will depend on how well they cover sci next year, and I probably have them underrated in this ranking.

8. Teterboro keeps Nick Zhang around this year, although the amount of support he will have is limited, given the performance of teams without him at Livi Novice and Funfest this year. They also lose Rohit, which leaves them with a potential sci problem. Nick is quite mercurial and may manage some crazy upsets against stronger teams, but don't expect them to consistently beat higher ranked teams (unless animal sci).

9. Millburn loses Dean and Ethan this year, which leaves Ben Hu to lead the rest of the team. Although he's probably the best sci player in the region, with decent geo, religion, and history coverage, the team will have a hard time covering their gaps in lit and FA.

10. Wilton loses Alex this year, but Lukas is a good history/geo player, and will likely expand next year into lit. Anjo is also a very good history player, but may have issues with scaling. Holes in Sci, FA, and RMPSS will likely hold them back from being a top tier team.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) »

NJQBA has made a podcast analyzing the teams in our region of NJ as well as the greater tri state area for the upcoming year. Click this link to check it out. This is our first podcast; stay tuned for more content in the future! <3
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by nick. »

Preseason Poll here: https://forms.gle/9kqwwaXXdD15oz4x7. Go wild.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Karan_GeoHP »

I'm definitely biased as a former player/captain, but i think you should include JP Stevens on the list. While JPS doesn't have the stats/history that the schools on the list offer, it recruited top players this year that earned it a high standing at East Brunswick Funfest and a ticket to NAQT nationals. Allen Wang is an all rounder, with significant strengths in literature, arts, and sciences while Joey George is a pro at history. There are a bunch of really good science players on the team as well.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by nick. »

The Preseason Poll will close on June 7th, 2020 at 11:58 PM. Keep getting those responses in
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Gerald Ford's Economics »

I'd like to advocate for Hunter B next year. Although B team composition will depend heavily on who's coming to a given tournament, I think they'll be a strong presence at most tournaments, and have the potential to claim some serious scalps. I won't be counting B team results with Andrew on them, but for example, B team almost pulled a major upset on East Brunswick A at Millburn Invitational, and beat Livingston A at that same tournament. I think that B team will be pushing for playoff contention at most tournaments they go to.
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by nick. »

So, the preseason poll results:

Top 20 teams
1. Hunter A (180)
2. East Brunswick A (147)
3. High Tech A (139)
4. Hotchkiss (109)
5. Livingston (93)
6. Hunter B (89)
7. Ridgewood (68)
8. Millburn (34)
9. Teterboro (28, not counting the ballot that gave them 40 points)
10. Choate (13)
11. Darien (11)
12. EBB (10)
13. Manheim (9)
14. High Tech B (5)
T-15. Great Neck South, Hempfield (2)
T-17. Pingry, Wilton, Tenafly, BCA (1)
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by matthewspatrick »

amundhe wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:34 pm
Wilton

Darien

Staples
Having grown up in Fairfield County, CT, I'm happy to see more teams showing up here, but at the same time saddened that what really should be such fertile ground for quiz bowl isn't doing even better...
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Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by jacobhb »

This post is all teams with over 50 votes, grouped into tiers, ordered by most votes. A post on under-50 teams may or may not be coming at some point in the future

S Tier

Hunter A was arguably #1 in the nation at the end of this season, and they only lose Asher Jaffe. Pedro Juan Orduz, Cerulean Ozarow, and Andrew Zeng are all incredible history players, in addition to possessing overlapping coverage of most other categories, lit especially, as both Andrew and Cerulean are quite good at it and can be strong humanities generalists on their own, see Cerulean on BLAST or Andrew on pretty much any tournament this season. Ben Chapman will contribute sci and afa, making this team one that will have strong coverage across the board and likely contend for nationals, especially on NAQT considering Ben and Pedro's strengths on geo and ce. However, Andrew and Ben can neg quite a lot sometimes, potentially resulting in more upsets of this team by teams that are arguably worse, which could cost them a tournament if it's bad. Overall, Hunter is still op and will continue to be op and nationally contending, and it will be interesting to see how all their players improve throughout the season and how consistently solid their coverage is on each category. For future seasons, they will lose most of their A team after this season, which will be the first major shakeup since the 2018-2019 season when most of the current A team came into being, so it will be interesting to see how the likely successors in the B and C team (plus Andrew) do.

A Tier

East Brunswick, despite losing many of their top players, keeps Josh Yi, a consistently strong science/history generalist, who led EB's first place Columbia Spring team and second place Qubit team, as well as lit specialist Lilian Zhu, plus Aniket Das and science specialist Chinmay Sahasrabudhe, who appears to have adjusted well to online, getting a higher PPG than Andrew on their way to winning Reinstein Open as team Dengtong. Additionally, they bring up from Churchill JHS several stellar players, Tanuj Chandekar, who placed second and first at the two main NHBB regional tournaments of this season, Simon Emmanuel, who has made finals at both of those tournaments and put up very good stats soloing on Midsummer Classic, though that was on a middle school set, and Amitav Narayan, who put up insane stats at James Blair Bowl Online and appears to have solo-written a tossup-only regs+ set which would certainly help with improvement. They could be very good at both quiz bowl and history bowl if they all keep studying and probably win some tournaments. However, though their incoming sophs could end up being absolute powerhouses, they also have never played an in-person tournament harder than NAQT A-Sets. Overall, EB is a combination of strong seniors and strong sophs that will be very strong with good coverage in all categories that could certainly take tournaments off of a shorthanded Hunter A, or be a serious challenge to a full Hunter A. For future seasons, EB's top scorer and best generalist Josh will graduate after this season, so it remains to be seen how well the incoming sophomores and B team members will scale up along with Lily and if they will be able to keep a future EB top tier.

High Tech loses several people, but they will likely continue their trend of being consistently one of the top teams in the region. They keep the strong science/history player Deepak Gopalakrishnan, who tied for top varsity on the NSB C Test and made history bee finals at both NHBB tournaments High Tech attended this year, as well as scoring nearly half the team's powers on their way to taking second at Columbia Spring this year, and similarly at PHSAT. They also keep Max Brodsky, a FA specialist was their second scorer and had crazy power power percentages at both tournaments, both times close to 90%. Additionally, they're expected to add Alex Wu, second scorer from their B team at PHSAT, who won bee at South Jersey, though that was with a rather small field, and just narrowly missed finals at New Jersey states, which had a pretty stacked field. Apparently their fourth is expected to be Sammy Hampel, the only stats of whom that I can find are going 1/11/3 playing on a High Tech A at Sun God 2 years ago. Overall, High Tech is still a very solid team with very strong coverage of history and fine arts as well as science, though they may have some more chinks in their coverage relative to the other top tier teams. For future seasons, it appears that all of High Tech A except Max Brodsky will graduate, potentially leaving in it a situation similar to this year's Millburn, with some of the best coverage in the region on one category, but lacking elsewhere. However, High Tech has a consistently deep program with people to bring up from B and C teams, and a very solid ability to just continually get new good players, so I have no doubt that they will assemble at minimum a B tier team next year.

B Tier

Hotchkiss, as far as I know, retains everyone, and will continue to be powered by Cooper Roh, but his teammates are also improving. Hotchkiss, under their pseudonym of Coldhug, has been a force at NHBB, getting 2nd at JV Nationals last year and returning everyone, and then being ranked as the 4th-best varsity performance by HBRanks https://jacobhb175.github.io and they've also done quite well at quizbowl this past season, including strong performances at Clarke Fall, where they placed third while losing only to Hunter A and defeating several other competitive teams, such as Hunter B and C, Wilton, Tenafly, and Ridgewood. They also showed a decent ability to scale at Qubit, where they placed sixth, just inside of top bracket, while defeating Ithaca, Wilton, and shorthanded Livingston and East Brunswick, as well as nearly taking a game off of a very shorthanded Hunter. They've also been attending and performing well at many online tournaments. In particular, their support players of Yihan Ding, David Lloyd George, Jack Bordeaux, Sachin Umashankar, and especially Jack McGlinn, are continuing to grow into their roles and help provide more solid coverage for Hotchkiss on non-history subjects. Overall, Hotchkiss is a team with some very strong history coverage and improving quickly in other subjects, though it remains to be seen how strong their history coverage will be relative to the other top tier history-strong teams, such as Hunter, EB, and High Tech. For the future, no one from Hotchkiss leaves that I know of, so they will likely continue to be strong, probably A-tier, in the 2021-2022 season. After that, however, it will come down to how well the current Hotchkiss players can recruit and train new players, as so far the only person not graduating by 2022 that I know of is Gabriel Perkins. So far, they have brought several teams to online tournaments, so they do at least seem to have enough good players that they will be able to field decent B teams as well as their A team for the next few seasons.

Livingston, like Hunter A, will retain almost everyone and be made up primarily of members of the class of 2021. They will be led by the strong generalist Carolyn Meng, who put up around 100 ppg and 4 p/g at both Mo-Beard and EB Funfest, but seems to not scale up so well in terms of powers, seeming to usually get something more similar to Rosa, ~2 p/g, at harder tournaments such as PHSAT, Millburn Invitational, and Columbia Spring. They also keep as the top-tier lit specialist Rosa Xia, who is also a solid, low-neg player in her own right, being top 10 in ppg with an impressive only 2 negs at Qubit, from which Carolyn was absent. They also have the good vfa/rm/sci player Veena Nambi, who can put up a solid ~0.5-1.5 p/g on most sets and adds some good support, as well as the young sci/geo/ce/amhist player Jeffrey Xu who, following a strong debut at Hunter SCOP in which he led the Livingston novices to a 4th place finish, has since been promoted to A team, where he's usually managed to put up a consistent ~1 p/g and help cover the sci hole. Overall, Livingston is a balanced team of several good people who will likely be able to place highly at most ne tournaments and trade with other B-tier teams as well as take a few games off of the top teams. However, they will need to get more consistent coverage on history and start powering quite a bit more before they'd be able to break in to A tier. For the future, they graduate everyone but Jeffrey next year and their B team seems to often teeter on the edge of nonexistence, so it remains to be seen how Jeffrey will improve and who else might join, as well as how well their feeder middle school of Heritage/Foxcroft, led by the newly emergent Robert Wang, will perform.

Hunter B is a young and somewhat variable team which will likely also be quite balanced. At the center of the team will be the two strong history-based generalists of me (Jacob Hardin-Bernhardt) and Ian Lu, and we together will give this team very strong history/geo/ce coverage in addition to being able to pick off questions in other categories and keep a solid floor of ppb even when the team is incomplete. We came close to breaking H-M when on the same team Millburn Invitational, where we also averaged around 2 p/g each and have improved over the summer, as well as branching out into some non-history categories where we do not shadow each other as much. We will be backed up by Rachel Yang, the likely captain, who is a very solid literature specialist in addition to some myth and pop culture knowledge, and has probably attended the most tournaments and played in the most games of anyone currently at Hunter, and as such has had a lot of time to osmosize, having played on Hunter A or B since 2018 and attended PACE 4 times. Daniel Shneider, a science/rm player who has deep nationals experience as second scorer on 48th place overall and 2nd place JV Hunter B at PACE 2019, will help cover holes in science and rmpss. Overall, we will be a pretty balanced team that should have good coverage in nearly every category, though certainly with more of an advantage on NAQT due to our largest holes being in fine arts and pss and some of our deepest knowledge being in geo, ce, and pop culture. Mostly due to me, we might end up being somewhat overagressive in certain situations, which will likely lead to our fair share of both upset wins and disappointing defeats this season. It's hard to make a for the future post about a B team, but Rachel will be graduating and the rest of us all probably have a good chance to be on A team in the 2021-2022 season, so keep an eye on the C team players and middle schoolers.

Ridgewood, like Hunter A and Livingston, will be a team primarily made up of seniors in the class of 2021, in particular the history-based generalist duo of Aum Mundhe and Aiden Dartley. Aum, a history-based generalist with secondary specialties of fine arts and myth has been a force on the scene for quite some time and, in the 2019-2020 season, put up strong results at PHSAT, Clarke Fall, and Millburn Invitational, averaging a consistent 2.5-3.5 p/g depending on teammates and field strength, in addition to an astounding 6 p/g at Big Lake Brawl, an A-set with the weak field you would expect of an A-set. He's had some negging issues, such as the infamous 9-neg game against Hunter B at Millburn, but when accompanied by teammates his neg rate seems to improve significantly, with >2 p/n most often, so I'm not sure to what degree negging will be an actual issue for them. He is backed up by Aiden Dartley, a junior history-based generalist with a secondary specialization of literature, and the only non-senior on this team. Aiden has improved significantly from his 15 ppg debut at PHSAT to be the likely second scorer on Ridgewood next year, having put up a very solid 17-power performance at BLAST, a regs+ set which he played with Ridgewood's previous top scorer Lexi Terman. They will be joined by Nick Pruitt, a solid history player whose ability in that category will likely be shadowed by Aum and Aiden, relegating him to the role of NAQT specialist, that is, geo, ce, and pop culture, in which he has usually been able to get a solid 0.5-1 p/g in his specialty categories, which could make a difference in close games. The fourth scorer will likely be either of seniors Hannah Choi or Shrestha Hari, both of which would provide some additional depth on science, their main hole. Overall, Ridgewood will be a strong history team led by history-based generalists, also known as every team on this list not named Livingston, so we'll have to wait to see whether or not they'll be able to beat other high-tier teams on history consistently enough to make up for their weaknesses on non-history, and if things go badly they could lose to a lower-rated team with more consistent coverage across all categories. For the future, they have some up-and-coming players on their B team and at Ben Franklin MS, in particular Joonho Oh, a competent 10th grade history player. However, their entire A team save Aiden will graduate this year, so it remains to be seen how fast the younger players can improve and scale up.
Jacob Hardin-Bernhardt
Hunter 2023
2019 MSNCT Champion Team Captain
2019 NHBB JV Bowl Champion Team Member
2019 IPNCT 5th Place
2020 Groger Ranks Awards Freshman 2nd Place
"For 10 points, name this female Canadian singer-songwriter." *buzz* "Pierre Trudeau."
"One French anti-war slogan was "Why die for-"" *buzz* "Danzig"
"Just watch me." -Pierre Trudeau
Vembanad
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: NY/NJ/CT/PA/DE Discussion '20-21

Post by Vembanad »

With LONE STAR, the first tournament of the region, imminent, I thought that I would join my teammate Jacob with a post about the teams that I believe to be in the top 20 in Downstate NY, NJ, CT, and Eastern PA (not counting teams from the central part of the state, like State College). The top 10 teams are taken from my preseason poll -- I’ve decided not to change their order, even when I think I might have ranked them differently now, but I’ve added things to my original writeup in brackets. The next 10 writeups are new.
1. Hunter is pretty unambiguously #1, in the region and probably in the country as well. We do take a hit by losing Asher, but the rise of Andrew more than makes up for it. Though we might be vulnerable in science, since none of us know much science other than Ben, our double/triple coverage in other categories should make up for that.
2. Despite graduating ⅞ of their A and B teams, East Brunswick will be very good next year. Josh is a great generalist with good real knowledge in science and good carding knowledge in history, while Lily has improved tremendously over the year to become a strong lit and music player; she’ll only get better next year. [Chinmay provides great science support for Josh and has put up some very strong results, like outscoring Aum Mundhe and Andrew Zeng while on the same team at the (distributionally quirky) Reinstein Open.] Despite being a rising sophomore, Tanuj is one of the strongest history players in the region and is probably a top 10 JV History Bee player nationally. If Amitav proves that he can consistently do as well in-person [or, seeing that in-person tournaments do not appear very likely at the moment, if he can replicate his results online] as he did at James Blair Bowl Online, that could be the ticket for them to rival Hunter as #1 in the region.
The next four teams could really end up in any order:
3. Hotchkiss #3 might be somewhat of a hot take, but they’ll be very good. They won Bardbowl this past year with a team of 3 sophomores and 1 junior, despite somewhat unimpressive power numbers and PPB, proving that they have what it takes to make it to the top. Cooper Roh is a top history player who can also get good buzzes across the humanities, and Sachin and DLG provide crucial science backup. [Actually, DLG has graduated, but the point stands.] I’m not quite sure what categories Yihan and Jack cover (other than noting that Yihan very consistently firstlines Chinese history), but they are strong players as well. Totally not ranking them this high because they beat us decisively at JBB :)
4. High Tech will be a fairly strong team. It’s close, but Deepak is arguably the strongest player in the region this year, and Max is dominant at FA (and math, so I’ve heard). I’m not sure who else they have, or whether they have anyone who can really cover literature or science (Hunter and High Tech didn’t go to too many of the same tournaments last year due to the saturation of the tournament schedule, and I only played them once), but their B team’s stats at PHSAT were quite strong and I have no doubt they’ll put up good performances.
5. Livingston will be strong as well -- I wasn’t sure whether to put them above or below High Tech, as I believe they’ll likely be approximately equal in skill. Carolyn’s power numbers aren’t great, but she’s nonetheless a great generalist with strength in history and science and has some very deep, extensive knowledge. Rosa is probably the best lit player in the region (maybe Andrew Zeng could challenge her on that), and is especially dominant in poetry. Veena is excellent at science, while Jason provides good backup in “NAQT categories” (trash/CE/USH). Sophomore Jeffrey is also strong at science, and might fill in for Jason on housewrites (idk exactly). They’ll be strong.
6. Honestly, I’m probably underrating Hunter B, because a team with similar composition hasn’t really played before and I’m not sure how they’ll stack up. Far be it from me to reveal their team composition (after all, I’m not in charge of such things), but, with Rachel at the helm, they should be very strong in the big 3 (particularly history and lit) and have a great shot at beating teams ranked above them. They’ll probably be a bit inconsistent, since rarely is everyone at Hunter free at the same time, but a full Hunter B will do some serious damage. [OK, I can say now that our full B team will likely feature Rachel, Ian, Jacob, and Daniel Shneider. They’ll be scary.]
7. Choate is pretty much the perfect new-to-quizbowl team. Since first popping onto the scene at HFT, they’ve put up great performances, sent multiple teams to tournaments, and (it seems) had a lot of fun. They graduate 5 players (whether A/B/C team is difficult to tell due to their unusual team system), but that leaves them with a solid 20 to choose from. Their performance at SCOP (27.85 ppb) proved that they have the novice canon down, and if they actually do send a full A team to a tournament this year as they’ve said they will (some mixture of Lucas/Nathan/Joy/Andrew Lee/Emma), they’ll be very strong.
8. Darien might be underrated, but I think they’ll do well. Darien B’s performance at Columbia Fall (where they were one failed vulch away from beating Hunter A) shows what they’ll be able to do next year. Alex will take over from Jimena nicely in history, and, though still a sophomore next year, Darryl’s one of the strongest science players in the region. I think the region may be surprised at what they can do.
9. Is Manheim in the region? [I have decided that they, and other Eastern PA teams, are.] If they count, they’ll be good. AZ is a great lit player who puts up amazing stats alongside Will Steger, and I believe that when Will has graduated he’ll prove himself to be one of the best players in the region. Ellie and Baybars will provide strong support.
10. Ridgewood will be good. Aum and Aiden make for a powerful combination -- it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to cover anything in literature/science, but if they do they have the potential to rise above this position. [Also, Aum joins Sam Blizzard, Alex Schmidt, John John Groger, and Eric Xu as one of the only people to score 235 points or more in an NAQT game. So… he’s good.] (I’ll note that they notched above 20 PPB at PHSAT with a team that all continues, and every single one of their players has improved significantly since then.)

And now, teams 11-20 (the rankings of which are slightly more fluid):
11. BCA is a young team, but they’ll be a team to look out for. Aarush Santoshi, a generalist and last year one of the best MS players in the region, absolutely destroyed Delta Burke and the Midsummer Classic -- the latter was an MS set, but 72 powers is still very impressive. Maia Walzer is an excellent humanities player as well, and the two will be a fearsome duo.
12. I don’t know too much about Great Valley, but as a very strong Eastern PA team I should include them. Half of Great Valley A and most of Great Valley B (¾ of the team at PALCS, the whole team from Henderson Invitational) are returning, both of which notched 22 PPB on an IS set last year. I know that Anish in particular has become one of the strongest lit players in the region. They're probably a bit underranked because they don't play outside of Pennsylvania as often; my only concern is that regionally dominant Great Valley teams have tended to miss HSNCT playoffs -- we’ll see if their team this year can scale up better.
13. Great Neck South will definitely be the strongest team on Long Island this year. Kathryn Lee was the lead scorer at Hunter’s mirror of SCOP this year, and Jack Lenga and Brandon Huang are talented science and history players, respectively. These three and fourth scorer Matthew Moy will be able to develop on excellent finishes like their statistically impressive performance at LIFT last year.
14. Nicholas Zhang wrote a whole set by himself, and he’s doing it again. That alone will surely propel this excellent generalist with a penchant for animal science to some top finishes. Unfortunately, the graduation of Rohit means that Teterboro will be losing deep science coverage, making them essentially, with the addition of incoming freshman Kevin Cho, a two-man team. They can definitely pull some upsets though -- Nick managed a 10-power game at Bardbowl (IS-190), so with some luck they’ll definitely be able to punch above their weight.
15. Ben Hu is undoubtedly the best science player in the region. He’s also quite knowledgeable in history, geography, and RMPSS. However, with the vast majority of Millburn’s players, including superstar Dean Ah Now, graduating, he and Milo Stone will be left with a real hole in literature. If one of them works to fill it, or if they get some strong new players to join them, they definitely have the skills to rise up in the rankings.
16. After a couple of Hunter teams, Dalton will be the strongest team in NYC. They put up a strong performance at LIFT, breaking 20 PPB and notching a 290-285 upset against West Egg to knock the latter out of playoffs. Their other finishes have been significantly less impressive, but I definitely trust Avi Mehta and co. to make their senior campaign a strong one.
17. I am definitely underrating East Brunswick B. Whichever of {Josh/Chinmay/Lillian/Aniket/Tanuj/Simon/Amitav} isn’t on EB A will make this team very strong, though they might not be able to send a full team to every tournament, especially considering some of EB’s members’ dislike of playing online. Still, East Brunswick is always one of the deepest schools in the region, and I would be unsurprised to see EBB with finishes as high as they were last year.
18. Wheatley is good. They were the only team to beat High Tech A at LIFT, and they also beat a decent Hunter B team at Clarke Fall. Frederick Lin is certainly a top 10 player in the region, with strengths in every area of the humanities, and if the team ventures out of Long Island (or, stays in Long Island to play some online tournaments) they could do very well.
19. Lukas Koutsoukos of Wiltonis a very strong history and geography player who has developed excellent generalism skills. As a solo player, he beat Hunter B at HFT, and this year he broke 150 PPG on an A-set at Tal Atkins online. My question is whether he has enough support to hang with the top teams on harder difficulties -- if Vihan improves, and perhaps if he plays with his schoolmate Anjo, the answer to that question could certainly be yes.
20. I’m undecided about the last spot -- I might be inclined to rank Hunter C, but I don't want to overrank my school's team -- but Max Brodsky has advocated convincingly for High Tech B, who will apparently have Alex and Siddharth. I know very little about this team, but High Tech tends to have numerous good players, so they’ll probably put up some good performances.
Cerulean Ozarow
Hunter '21
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