Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

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TheScientists
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Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by TheScientists »

The 2018-19 season is coming to an end soon, and to (hopefully) increase hype for the SoCal circuit, here's the thread for the 2019-20 SoCal season season for things that don't pertain to scheduling.
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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

There are only about five people from SoCal who check these forums with any sort of regularity, so, like last year, this thread is probably going to remain idle for most of the season. Anyway, for those five or so people (or anyone not from SoCal who cares), here are some of my thoughts on the upcoming season:

General thoughts: For each of the past few seasons, most tournaments have been a race for second as one team (Arcadia in 2019) would often make the result a foregone conclusion. In 2019–2020 I don't think any team will be in that position, although that was said before last season too and Arcadia still ended up dominating, so I wouldn't be surprised if another "superteam" emerges.

With that being said, here is my preseason analysis of SoCal teams, grouped into tiers. Instead of merely analyzing only the best teams in the region, I tried to address as many schools as possible—almost every school that attended a varsity tournament in 2018–2019 is mentioned. I did this because of the unpredictable nature of preseason predictions, as every year some teams that nobody expects to do well end up doing very, very well, and conversely, some teams that are expected to dominate, well, don't end up dominating.

Tier 1: Potential national contenders: Canyon Crest A, Westview A
In 2019, CCA and Westview finished T-19th and T-31st at HSNCT, respectively, and neither team has any members graduating. The present roster of CCA has been very good for a long time, as 3/4 of their team was part of the 2018 CCA B team that finished T-20th at HSNCT. I could easily see CCA becoming a national contender this year.

Westview is a more interesting team. Last year they showed an ability to win tournaments despite using massively shorthanded rosters—winning both ACE XII and SoCal States using only two A team regulars. The full roster of Westview A didn't play together much at all last year, and I believe with their full team they could definitely emerge as that dominant team I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. However, the largest obstacle that Westview faces is negging. If they can clean this up, I can also see Westview becoming a national contender.

Tier 2: Del Norte A
I created this tier solely for Del Norte, who I feel will be much stronger than the teams in lower tiers while still being a significant step behind CCA and Westview. Like both CCA and Westview, the entire Del Norte A team at HSNCT last year (T-75th) was composed of non-seniors. Just from looking at stats, it's obvious that Del Norte has a unique playing style: while many teams in SoCal have high power percentages and high neg rates, Del Norte rarely negs and posts relatively modest power rates. This can either be to their extreme advantage or disadvantage when matching up against top-tier teams. If their opponent drops a load of negs, they can pounce on the opportunity and pull off an upset. But at the same time, their hesitation to buzz early might cost them important points that might swing the outcome of the game. This is the main reason why I'm not yet willing to put Del Norte in the highest tier. However, I could be way wrong here, as there are certainly teams that have had tremendous success in spite of low power counts.

Tier 3: Westview B, Arcadia A, Santa Monica A
Like their A team, Westview's HSNCT B team was composed entirely of non-seniors. Since Westview really jumbled their rosters at tournaments last year, I don't know much about their B team (or who will even play on it), so I don't have much to say outside of noting that they had a strong showing at HSNCT (despite using what appears to have been a shorthanded roster) and have the potential to become a great team.

While the entire roster of the Arcadia A team that finished T-8th at HSNCT last year has graduated, Arcadia B also had a solid performance, going 5-5. I didn't play most of their team often last year so I also don't have much to say. While I doubt this year's Arcadia will be able to match their performances in 2018 and 2019, I still expect them to do well when nationals roll around.

As for Santa Monica, ... I really don't know how to feel. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea which tier we should be grouped in. This is because the A team roster we plan on using will contain players who have never been to a pyramidal quiz bowl tournament, and I have no idea what to expect from them. While I was by far the lead scorer on our 2019 team that finished T-49th at HSNCT, I, being merely a strong history/geography/current events specialist who's [presently] weak in most other categories (I'm working on it!), am in all likelihood not going to be able to carry us that far this year by myself. While I could easily see us making the highest bracket at every tournament we attend (and matching if not surpassing our HSNCT finish from last year), I can just as easily see us regularly struggling to even place in the top half.

Potential "breakout" teams: Westview C, Arcadia B, North Hollywood A, Francis Parker A, St. Margaret's Episcopal A
This tier is for teams that didn't qualify for nationals last year but who I think have the potential to be competitive this season. Although Arcadia B and NoHo both qualified for HSNCT last year (NoHo didn't go), they are both eligible for this tier because their rosters this season will look considerably different. As a warning, I know almost nothing about any of these five teams, having never played most of them. The reason why I placed these teams in this tier was that each of them won at least one JV tournament last year. Although A sets/SCOP Novice are definitely not the best indicator for future success, I could see any of these teams being like 2018's Del Norte, who went from doing incredibly well at JV tournaments to winning a varsity tournament the following season.

Teams that have quite a bit of rebounding to do: Canyon Crest B, Scripps Ranch A
Both CCA B and Scripps A were carried by one strong player last year (Alan and Jack, respectively) who has graduated, leaving behind a huge vacuum. To be honest, I don't think either team is going to significantly recover, but I hope I'm wrong!

Other teams that interest me but don't fall into any other tier (Misc.): Olympian, Rancho Bernardo, Whitney, La Jolla, Troy, Laurel Springs
Despite graduating 10/12 of their 2018 HSNCT teams, Olympian managed to rebound amazingly in 2018–2019, placing no lower than 4th at every tournament they attended. However, they didn't go to HSNCT and most of their A team has graduated again, so I'm not sure what to expect this year.

Last year Rancho Bernardo was a team that really interested me, having played them many times with some very strange (that's probably an understatement) results that you won't see from the final score. I'll say that they were consistently mediocre last year, finishing close to the middle at every tournament they attended. Like with Olympian, I'm not really sure what to expect from Rancho Bernardo this year since much of their A team has graduated. However, I could see them becoming a "breakout team".

Whitney just recently began playing quiz bowl, but they've had strong showings at the few tournaments they've attended. However, most of that production came from seniors who have graduated.

La Jolla is in a similar position as Whitney (albeit not being new to quiz bowl), having seen its lead scorer (Sam) graduate. I'm interested in seeing if and how these two teams will rebound.

For the last two seasons Troy has attended HSNCT via qualifying at JROTC tournaments. In 2018–2019, however, they attended a few regular SoCal tournaments as well and had respectable results (in addition to going 4-6 at HSNCT), although much of that was led by Andy Su, a senior who has graduated. Having played them a couple times, I feel that if Troy starts attending more tournaments they definitely have the potential to become a competitive team.

I'm only interested in Laurel Springs because Ameya seems to be very enthusiastic about starting quiz bowl. On a more serious note, I wish you and all other new teams and players well in the upcoming season!

That's about it for now! In order to [possibly] prevent this thread from being completely idle throughout the season, I plan on revisiting it periodically. I'll close by predicting that some of my predictions will be fully accurate and that at least two will be completely wrong.
Josh Xu

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by vrohan »

joshxu wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:17 pm
Like their A team, Westview's HSNCT B team was composed entirely of non-seniors. Since Westview really jumbled their rosters at tournaments last year, I don't know much about their B team (or who will even play on it), so I don't have much to say outside of noting that they had a strong showing at HSNCT (despite using what appears to have been a shorthanded roster) and have the potential to become a great team.
For what it's worth, even Westview doesn't know who will be on which team next year, and it is very possible that our A teams for NAQT and mACF are very different. With that being said, we will be trying out different combinations at tournaments this year to try to optimize them.

joshxu wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:17 pm
Despite graduating 10/12 of their 2018 HSNCT teams, Olympian managed to rebound amazingly in 2018–2019, placing no lower than 4th at every tournament they attended. However, they didn't go to HSNCT and most of their A team has graduated again, so I'm not sure what to expect this year.
I heard Olympian's coach isn't doing Quizbowl this year, so that might have an effect on their placements. However, I might also be wrong, so I'm not completely sure.

Also yes Del Norte A is very good at capitalizing on other teams' mistakes and they are very solid on bonuses. The fact that they rarely neg makes them a sleeper to win any game despite their relatively low power numbers, which will likely also increase in the coming season.

About St. Margaret's Episcopal, Nate Kang is rapidly improving and he will also apparently have teammates next year, so I'm interested to see how that will turn out for them.
Rohan Venkateswaran
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http://socalquizbowl.org

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

The NHBB circuit in Southern California has definitely been struggling the past few years, much of which stems from the fact that nobody wants to host any tournaments. Despite having an extremely limited sample size, Ameya Singh from Laurel Springs has written this solid writeup of the circuit, which I am posting on his behalf since he is experiencing account issues.
Ameya Singh wrote: Before I begin this, I want to give a huge thanks to Josh for helping post this as I am locked out of my account. Thanks a mil bud!

The Southern California NHBB circuit is notably small compared to other regions, however there is a pretty eclectic combination of teams in this circuit from regional-level teams to Championship-caliber teams. This list will be divided into Varsity and JV sections.

Varsity teams:
Tier 1: National Title Contenders
Canyon Crest: The Canyon Crest Varsity NHBB team has consistently been an amazing team at Nationals, anchored by a superstar History/Geography player in Wesley Zhang. With solid supporting players in Shreyank Kaddadi, Andrew Tian, and Raymond Song, expect the Varsity team to be in the Top-20 at Nats.

Arcadia: Arcadia came off an incredible run to 3rd place at Nats led by a god-tier player in Andrew Hoagland who has since graduated. This definitely leaves a very large gap to fill for the team. While I doubt Arcadia will replicate their Final Four run, they should still be a Nationals-level team led by experienced and skilled players such as Stephen Dai, Spencer Cheng, Ajay Manneth, and more.

Tier 2: Teams That Can Surprise
Santa Monica: This tier is exclusively for Santa Monica who made a surprise run led by the 2019 HSNCT Rising Star Josh Xu who won last year's JV Bee at the NHBB SoCal Championships. Santa Monica did not attend Nationals so it’s hard to project the team's performance at Nats. With support from sophomore Kethan Raman, Santa Monica is a team to look out for in making a run there.

Tier 3: Teams That Need to Rebound
Whitney, North Hollywood: These two teams posted respectable results at regional tournaments (with them placing third and second respectively at NHBB SoCal), however both teams lose key players in Crystal Wang (for Whitney) and Brandon Hong (for NoHo). I am not sure if the other players still on these two teams have the players or system to fill in the gaps left by their graduations.

Tier 4: Teams I Couldn’t Get a Read On
Westview, Bishop’s School, Serra, Van Nuys, St. Margaret's
I put these teams in this tier as I don’t have enough information to make a proper analysis for them. Instead of trying to half-ass one, I decided to put them in this tier. If you are a part of these teams or have more information, feel free to post your thoughts.

Players to watch:
-Wesley Zhang (CCA)
-Josh Xu (SaMo)
-Stephen Dai (Arcadia)
-Spencer Cheng (Arcadia)
-Junu Song (Westview)

Junior Varsity Teams:
Tier 1: Nationals Contenders
Arcadia: Arcadia ranked 16th at JV Nationals with a team led by Amogh Kulkarni and Lawrence Sung. With Lawrence moving to Varsity this year, expect new players to join the Arcadia squad. Amogh is a strong player and I wouldn’t be surprised if they replicate this year’s result.

St. Margaret's Episcopal: St. Margaret's placed 19th at Nats as a solo team of Nate Kang. I would expect the team to post similar results as last year, however if the team gets some more players they could do even better.

Tier 2: Teams That Can Surprise
Canyon Crest: I am not sure if CCA plans on having a JV Bowl team (although they have enough players for one). But a JV team led by Andrew Gao and Leo Gu can easily be a solid team at regionals with potential to perform very well at Nationals.

Laurel Springs (not sponsored): The LSS team is quite odd in that I will be soloing at regional events without Vishal Rameshbabu. It should likely cause odd results between Regionals and Nats. Despite winning the MS division, there is absolutely nothing to determine how we (I) would do at JV. For now, I would expect we would be a middle of the pack team at Regionals although I hope to be proven wrong.

Pegasus: Pegasus is quite an intriguing team. Max Razmjoo went on a tear at MS Nationals, placing 3rd overall at the 7th Grade History Bee. Pegasus has produced respectable results at JV Nationals as a solo team but I don’t see them taking the next step this year if they continue to have that status.

Tier 3: Teams That Intrigue Me
JV doesn’t really have a team in the Rebound Category that Varsity had.

Huntington Middle (feeds into San Marino HS): Huntington Middle placed second at the MS division of NHBB SoCal and was a very good team. Elijah Chung and Audrey Jung both will be freshmen and could perform well at regionals.

Tier 4: Teams I Couldn’t Get a Read On
Aliso Niguel, Aliso Viejo MS, Whitney
Like with the Varsity teams in this category, I don’t know enough to make a proper analysis. Again, if you are a part of these teams or have more information, feel free to post your thoughts.

Players to watch:
-Nate Kang (SMES)
-Amogh Kulkarni (Arcadia)
-Andrew Gao (CCA)
-Ameya Singh (LSS)
-Leo Gu (CCA)
-Max Razmjoo (Pegasus)
Josh Xu

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

I mostly agree with Ameya on his analysis, and I just wanted to highlight some of the teams that particularly interest me.

Arcadia (Varsity): With Andrew Hoagland's graduation, I don't know what to expect from Arcadia this year. I think it's somewhat of a stretch to call them national title contenders this early, but I definitely wouldn't be surprised to see them making a deep run.

Westview: Much like my own team in Santa Monica, Westview has an extensive and decorated history in SoCal quiz bowl but is relatively new to NHBB. I've never seen Westview play on NHBB questions, but from my experience against them in quiz bowl they definitely have the pieces and potential to compete for the regional title.

Santa Monica:
Santa Monica: This tier is exclusively for Santa Monica who made a surprise run led by the 2019 HSNCT Rising Star Josh Xu who won last year's JV Bee at the NHBB SoCal Championships. Santa Monica did not attend Nationals so it’s hard to project the team's performance at Nats. With support from sophomore Kethan Raman, Santa Monica is a team to look out for in making a run there.
[Please forgive me for going on a rant about my own school]
As of right now, I don't know how Santa Monica is going to split its teams. Our entire history bowl squad last year was composed of a few freshmen and me, putting me in varsity this year while my ex-teammates are still eligible for JV. While it would make sense to simply run out the same roster and have underclassmen play varsity anyway, I am inclined against doing this because I think this would greatly hinder my teammates' development. So what's probably going to happen this year is that I will play as a solo team in the varsity division while some combination of sophomores and freshmen, led by Kethan Raman, will play JV. From watching them in practice, I think this JV team certainly has the potential to move into Tier 2 and surprise people at regionals. But this is just speculation, as this is far from guaranteed to be how our teams will actually be split.
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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

The first wave of tournaments has concluded, and as promised I'll take some time to share my thoughts on how things have transpired.

General thoughts:
Analyzing teams in SoCal at this point in time proved to be a difficult task for me, and these are only a few complicating factors, listed in no particular order:
1. Not very many top teams have played with their full A teams, or do not have an A team already set. This is to be expected though, since the season has just begun and schools have many reasons to want to shuffle their rosters (e.g. double-qualifying for HSNCT, giving younger players experience, etc.).
2. Teams have been inconsistent. There are quite a few factors affecting this, ranging from teams simply not trying (CCA at OASIS) to having shorthanded rosters (see my previous point) to the head-scratching blowout upset (e.g. 6-4 Arcadia beating otherwise undefeated Westview by 245 points at PPT). I've expanded upon this as it applies to individual teams a few paragraphs down.
3. There is a lot of unreliable data. The tournament that fits this description perfectly is ACE. At ACE, Westview A and Del Norte each had games where they recorded 16 powers. While these two two teams are among the strongest in the country, these statistics are clearly anomalous. Westview's 16-power game occurred against Canyon Crest, who, ignoring its final game in which it amazingly buzzed 24 times over 20 tossups (stats error, I assume?), averaged 5.5 powers per game. Overall, the power numbers at ACE were much higher than what would normally be expected on an IS set, and as a result I was extremely cautious when analyzing that data.

Now, to my positive general thoughts:
1. This idea has been floated around, and I'm going to endorse it here: this year is one of the strongest in SoCal history. This was clearly demonstrated by PPT, in which 5 out of 10 non-house teams averaged 5 or more powers per game (with another averaging 4.9) and 5 averaged 20 or more PPB (with another averaging 19.74). In addition to simply being strong, this year has also been competitive. While Westview has thus far clearly established itself as the dominant team (winning every tournament), second place is always highly contested as Santa Monica, Del Norte, and Westview B have each finished second or tied for second following prelims.
2. It's also nice that a lot of new or less experienced teams, such as Serra, Our Lady of Peace, Bonita, etc. have made regular appearances, with many posting solid results.

This is what I prefaced my analyses of individual teams with before the season began:
[H]ere is my preseason analysis of SoCal teams, grouped into tiers. Instead of merely analyzing only the best teams in the region, I tried to address as many schools as possible—almost every school that attended a varsity tournament in 2018–2019 is mentioned. I did this because of the unpredictable nature of preseason predictions, as every year some teams that nobody expects to do well end up doing very, very well, and conversely, some teams that are expected to dominate, well, don't end up dominating.
Well at this time I still don't feel comfortable ranking many teams in relation to one another, so I've continued using the tier system.

Disclaimer: These tiers are for NAQT only. I've done this because I didn't attend the one varsity housewrite played so far.

Tier 1: Potential National Contenders: Westview A (ranked 15th by Groger Ranks)
Westview A remains in tier 1, while Canyon Crest drops down (I'll address them later).

Westview to this point hasn't played with its full A team yet (which I would assume to be Shahar, Rohan, Junu, and Daniel Shaw), but has nevertheless won all four tournaments. For a more detailed analysis on Westview, I would strongly recommend listening to their podcast on Groger Ranks, since obviously they know more about their own team than I do. As such, I'll refrain from saying much about them, but I'm going to highlight that they still have a negging problem that's carried over from last year, although this obviously hasn't negatively impacted them significantly yet.

Tier 2: Arcadia A (ranked 44th), Canyon Crest A (unranked), Del Norte A (30th), Santa Monica A (31st)
Canyon Crest drops down from tier 1, Del Norte remains here, and Arcadia and Santa Monica move up from tier 3.

The reason why CCA has dropped a tier is that Wesley hasn't played yet, and their stats without him have not been indicative of a potential national contender. While I'm confident that CCA with Wesley will at least match their performance last year, I'm not going to analyze them based off of speculation. Another factor that makes CCA difficult to analyze is that they haven't always, for lack of a better word, tried at the tournaments they've been to.

Last year, Del Norte was widely regarded as a very consistent team that posted relatively low power numbers but also rarely negged. This made them capable of upsetting any team by feasting off of their opponent's negs while also making them susceptible to "pop-off" rounds. This year, they've taken a huge step forward. With their regular A team split at PPT, their A and B teams averaged 5.0 and 4.9 powers per game respectively, and they've finished second to Westview at the three subsequent tournaments playing mostly together. And they've been able to do this while still maintaining an extremely low neg rate. In my preseason analysis of Del Norte, I expressed an unwillingness to put them in the highest tier mostly because of their low power counts. They've largely addressed this and have demonstrated an ability to defeat Westview head-to-head on a good packet, but it is this inconsistency based on the packets that still makes me unready to put them in the same tier as Westview. As an example, they put up 16 powers in one round at ACE, but the next round they only had 4 (against me) and would have lost had I not stupidly negged a tossup that I totally knew.

Combined, Arcadia A and Santa Monica A saw 7/8 of their 2019 HSNCT rosters graduate, so going into this year there were huge questions surrounding both teams as to how and to what extent each team would rebound (which is why I initially put both teams in tier 3). Both teams already had a solid foundation to build around. For Arcadia, this was their B team that went 5-5 at HSNCT, and for Santa Monica, this was, simply put, I. The season is young, but so far both teams have definitely rebounded.

At PPT, Arcadia had the misfortune of having to play four top-five teams in its first four games, losing by no more than 120 points in all four of them. Then they exploded through the five teams that finished at the bottom, and culminated a six-game winning streak with a 400-155 win over otherwise undefeated and eventual champion Westview A. As Shahar wrote in his writeup of the tournament, Amogh's statline of 40/32/10 over ten games was among the most dominant breakout performances ever in SoCal by a sophomore. Additionally, fellow sophomore Ryan Sun has proven to be a formidable player in his own right, getting 41.50 PPG and 23 powers alongside Amogh at Triton Fall. Ironically, my reasoning behind predicting success for Arcadia was centered around their HSNCT B team from last year, but neither Amogh nor Ryan was on that team, and nobody on that B team has even made an appearance yet! Arcadia's sophomores have already established themselves as one of the best teams in SoCal, and with the "support" (?) of seniors Spencer Cheng, Stephen Dai, and Bryan Hsu I can see this team making a deep run at nationals.

This was my preseason analysis of Santa Monica (i.e. my own team):
As for Santa Monica, ... I really don't know how to feel. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea which tier we should be grouped in. This is because the A team roster we plan on using will contain players who have never been to a pyramidal quiz bowl tournament, and I have no idea what to expect from them. While I was by far the lead scorer on our 2019 team that finished T-49th at HSNCT, I, being merely a strong history/geography/current events specialist who's [presently] weak in most other categories (I'm working on it!), am in all likelihood not going to be able to carry us that far this year by myself. While I could easily see us making the highest bracket at every tournament we attend (and matching if not surpassing our HSNCT finish from last year), I can just as easily see us regularly struggling to even place in the top half.
We've played two varsity tournaments this year, PPT and ACE. At PPT, we had our entire core playing together (finishing second to Westview), while at ACE I essentially soloed as the B team (going 5-4) while the rest of our expected A team who could make it played together (going 4-5). My main takeaway from these two tournaments is that while I can carry the team and score the lion's share of our points, our success will ultimately depend on my teammates' contributions. As ACE demonstrated, I playing alone am almost guaranteed to convert all the history tossups in any given game (I got all but three over the whole tournament), and I'm surprisingly solid at literature bonuses (somehow I got an even 20 PPB), but science is a huge weakness for me. Luckily, I believe I've found a reliable "[player] who [had] never been to a pyramidal quiz bowl tournament [before this year]" in Josh Kong, a converted Science Bowl player, who not only has a solid grip on science but also has the ability to get the random stuff that only comes up in NAQT. It's because of him and my fellow teammates that we were able to have the highest PPB at PPT by more than 1.5 points. Additionally, ACE also exposed my packet-based inconsistency (similar to Del Norte). While the fact that I had to come storming back from a 255-85 halftime deficit and a 305-165 deficit after 15 against our "A" team to escape with a five-point win shows I'm not going to be a top team by myself, it's highly encouraging to me that my "teammates" were able to take advantage of the packet when I was unable to. As an aside, I'm only putting us in tier 2 because these tiers only apply to NAQT. This is because geography and current events are two of my (and therefore our team's) strongest subjects, while fine arts is arguably our weakest. In a housewrite tier system I wouldn't put us any higher than tier 3.

Tier 3: Westview B (140th)
Westview B remains here, while Arcadia A and Santa Monica A have moved up to tier 2.

Like I said before the season, it's difficult for me to analyze Westview B (and B teams in general, for that matter) because rosters are mixed so often. I don't really have an idea of what their roster will look like, but based off of the stats put up by players such as Daniel Sjoholm, Gary Lin, Connor Rankin, and Andrew Jia alongside presumptive A team players I'm confident this team will do well at nationals.

I didn't create a tier 4 before the season. In place of that I listed some potential "breakout" teams, so...

JV Tournaments, and Reflecting on My Choices for Potential "Breakout" Teams:
I had listed Westview C, Arcadia B, North Hollywood A, Francis Parker A, and St. Margaret's Episcopal A as potential "breakout" teams. Westview C has been very solid this year in JV, winning PPT and finishing second at Triton Fall. Arcadia JV was solid at BONoBo, placing two teams in the champs brackets. NoHo A and St. Margaret's A both played varsity at Triton Fall and had respectable performances, with NoHo making the top playoff bracket and Nathaniel Kang putting up an impressive 89 PPG during prelims. Francis Parker also played varsity at Triton Fall, but finished only 1-9 after three consecutive losses by fewer than 30 points.

I completely left out Del Norte JV (usually labeled "C", I guess) in my preseason analysis, but they won BONoBo and Triton Fall. Westview D has also done well in JV. It's quite certain that after the graduation of Del Norte and Westview's current A teams their present JV teams will be able to fill those spots and become great teams.

I also analyzed the "teams that have quite a bit of rebounding to do" before the season, Canyon Crest B and Scripps Ranch.
Well, CCA B hasn't played yet, and I haven't even been able to get a good read on CCA A, so I can't say that CCA B has rebounded....

Scripps Ranch played JV at PPT and varsity at Triton Fall. They were led at both tournaments by Frederic O'Hara, who had a solid 39.50 PPG while averaging over a power per game on HFT. Returning A team members Albert Gu and Jeremy Ngo have yet to play, and I believe a full A team, while still feeling the loss of Jack, has the potential to pull off some upsets.

I included a miscellaneous tier before the season, but since most of those teams haven't played I won't bother revisiting it at this time. I'll instead use this space to recognize that quite a few new or less experienced schools have played and done well at tournaments, and I wish all of you well as you continue to develop your programs!

I'm interested in seeing what everyone else thinks. What did I get right, what am I missing? This season has been very fun and exciting so far with a lot of parity, and I'm extremely excited to see what 2020 will bring.
Josh Xu

Santa Monica High School (Class of 2021)
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"Club President"

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by vrohan »

In terms of Westview, our team compositions are definitely up in the air at the moment. There is definitely a chance that the A team that went to ACE is our NAQT A team, but the team you listed or some other combination might end up being used. However, I think when our C team plays as a full team (that team comp hasn't been decided yet either), they'll be able to post some surprising results.

I will attempt to discuss the teams of other schools, however:
  • I think Del Norte seems to have finalized its A team of Ajai, Kyle, Manasvi, and Joshua, while its B team does not seem to have been decided yet.
  • CCA will almost definitely retain its A team from last year (Jonathan, Shreyank, Raymond, and Wesley), and I am confident that once college app season is over, they'll put up results closer to what people expected of them at the beginning of the year.
  • Arcadia has a case where they have a group of six players (Spencer, Stephen, Bryan, Amogh, Vincent, and Ryan) who could be on their A team based on their results. If I am missing someone, I am really sorry - this is the list I came up with based off of results from last year and this year. One thing to consider is that, from what I know, Vincent is a strong fine arts player, often playing on Arcadia A last year when one of the regular A team members couldn't make it, which makes him much more lethal on housewrites than on NAQT, so they might have a case similar to ours where their NAQT A team is different from their housewrite A team. However, in the last few years, Arcadia has sent teams to only HSNCT and not NSC. I would expect their A team to consist of Bryan - who is probably the best science player of the six, putting up more than a power a game at HSNCT last year - along with Amogh, Ryan, and one more of the players I listed. The other two would lead a sneakily strong B team that I am excited to see play.
  • It looks like Scripps's A team will probably consist of Albert, Jeremy, Freddie, and a fourth, who could be Patrick, Raymond, Ellice, Kevin (who had 8 powers in 10 games on HFT as a freshman), or someone else.
  • NoHo's core consists of juniors Heather and Albert, the latter of whom is insanely good at biology. I would assume that the other two spots will be filled by two of Matthew, Shion, or Hannah, the latter of whom had a strong performance on SCOP.
  • Josh, has SaMo established an A team, or at least part of one, yet? What about your B team?
I acknowledge that all of this is speculative, so if you know more about these teams, let me know if I missed something. If you, too, like to speculate, I'd like to hear your opinion too. :)
Rohan Venkateswaran
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Westview High '20

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

Hey Rohan, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
vrohan wrote:Josh, has SaMo established an A team, or at least part of one, yet? What about your B team?
As with most other teams, our rosters aren't yet set in stone. We've essentially been constructing the rest of our A team (i.e. outside of me) based off of my weaknesses, the largest of which is science. As such, we've used three converted Science Bowl players this year—Josh Kong, Matt Sasaki (both seniors), and Teddy Berger (junior). Josh Kong has already solidified his spot on the A team, and I expect either Matt or Teddy (but not both) to also be on it. As pure speculation, I would guess it's going to be Teddy since he's a biology specialist in Science Bowl (Josh K. basically covers everything but biology), but Matt also has the ability to get random NAQT stuff... I digress. The fourth player will most likely be literature/fine arts/trash/myth "specialist" Alexandra Raphling (sophomore).

If we're unable to qualify a B team for HSNCT, based on our history I do believe there's a good chance we'll be able to wild card one this year. Our B team will certainly be led by Kethan Raman (sophomore), who averaged 1.5 powers per game to lead the "A" team at ACE. He's easily the second-best individual player on our squad, but since he's a history-geography-CE specialist like me he would be completely redundant on the A team. The rest of the B team will most likely be either Matt or Teddy (whoever's not on the A team), and then some combination of current freshmen and sophomores.
Josh Xu

Santa Monica High School (Class of 2021)
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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by TheScientists »

Josh's and Rohan's analysis are very, very on point. The SoCal circuit this year is quite competitive and strong.
I felt I should highlight the current progress of some teams that were part of the Misc. category in Josh's original tier list.

Olympian: Olympian has definitely had some rough performances post-mass graduation of its members this year. The team definitely has a lot of room for improvement in this regard. It also should be noted that the Olympian roster at OASIS may not be the team they'll be playing at other tourneys.

La Jolla: La Jolla posted a very good performance at Triton Fall this year going 6-4. The team looks to be a solid team as the year progresses. They posted a solid 15PPB at HFT.

Rancho Bernardo: Rancho Bernardo posted a respectable 4-6 record led by junior Kate Ahn. They currently have a 14.17 PPB on IS-186 which is respectable. I'd expect them to be a middle of the pack team.

Whitney and Troy have yet to attend a tournament. I really hope they play in tournaments this year.
UPDATE (1/7/2020) - Troy did qualify through their own JROTC event and will be at Nats this year.

Laurel Springs: Laurel Springs has yet to play in a SoCal tournament this year. Our only tournament was Prison Bowl Online where we posted a dismal 1-8 record. We'll most likely attend tournaments in around 2 months.
Last edited by TheScientists on Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ameya S.
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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by Nameless »

I would like to agree with Rohan’s and Josh’s analysis of the current state of SoCal Quizbowl with one exception.

First, I would like to address some rapidly improving teams. Arcadia, Del Norte, and Santa Monica are all teams I would place in this 1.5 tier just below tier 1 Westview, a clear national contender. Arcadia(PPT) and Del Norte(OASIS, Triton Fall) have taken games off of Westview. I think Santa Monica definitely has the potential to take games from national contenders if they do not split up their entire A team like they did at ACE. Westview A has also dropped a game to Westview B which I attribute to a good packet. All three of these teams’ stats speak to how much they studied over the summer. Although all of these rosters may not be finalized just yet, these teams will only get stronger when Nationals comes around where they can solidify their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

My HOT take is definitely placing Canyon Crest A in the tier 2. Although the team of Jonathan, Wesley, Shreyank, and I(Raymond) beat Katy Taylor at PACE last year and placed Tied-19th at HSNCT, we have not improved much from last year. The Preseason poll landed us at 4th which I believe is much too high for CCA A. Although we retain our entire team, the knowledge is the same as last year. I would place us at about in the 17-20 range again based on past National Tournaments. The only tournament we attended this year minus Wesley was OASIS where we just wanted to have fun. The stats are not accurate at all because Jonathan was going for 100% power rate and I was purposely giving wrong answers. There are spots in our knowledge that are very deep and national caliber but there is also a large portion of the canon that we have no coverage of like religion, some literature, science, and american history. Our knowledge is very hit and miss which can be seen in the game against Katy Taylor and all of our other losses at PACE. I would like to comment that Wesley’s statline has consistently been some form of 4/9/1 times some multiplier at regular tournaments which somehow gets better at national tournaments. This may speak to the depth of Wesley’s knowledge and our tendency to get better on harder sets. However, I would like to point out that our PPB is always consistently below what our power numbers would normally say about PPB. This stems mostly from the holes in coverage I mentioned earlier. We have a very aggressive playstyle which can win and lose us games which I do not see us changing anytime soon. As a team, we have barely studied over the summer and college app season is going to continue that trend until January. After my NASAT experience, I became very tired with Quizbowl that I, personally, am kind of burnt out and just want to have fun so I doubt that there will be any improvement from last year. My team suffers from watching too many k-dramas, listening to too much k-pop (Note from Jonathan: we’re writing a TWICE packet anyone interested email us at [email protected]), and being complete weeaboos which I doubt they will put aside to study for Quizbowl. Tier 2 is a good spot for us this year as I am not trying to win at all and we will consistently lose to Westview A while dropping many games to those tier 1.5 teams. The improvement last year from Tied-20th to Tied-19th was not much of an improvement and continues to be the case this year unless extraordinary circumstances compels one of us to actually study. Jonathan, Shreyank, and I will be missing PACE or HSNCT if prom is on that date so I am hesitant to say that we will attend both nationals. Knowing that, I would predict our placement at HSNCT to be about the same as last year(19th). Additionally, we are preparing for the new Academic League season where we have new opponents other than Torrey Pines. Much of our attention will be focused on practicing these very short tossups and non-pyramidal style bonuses. I think the first appearance of a full A team roster would be at Triton Winter or at DNE pending scheduling. Our B team has a lot of potential with Kevin Luo, Chris Jung, Andrew Gao, Leo Gu, Nithin Chilakapati, and Cade McAllister. However, all of them do a ton of extracurriculars which takes a lot of time away from Quizbowl. Overall, CCA A is on the decline while CCA B is on the rise and a team to watch out for.

Lastly, Del Norte’s 7 teams at PPT are also something to look out for as well as the Westview freshman who compromised the Black Mountain team last year. NoHo and Scripps are in rebuilding years but I believe that they can transform into national caliber teams. This iteration of SoCal QB seems to be one of the strongest in recent history so please sleep on SoCal and definitely sleep on CCA.
Raymond Song
Canyon Crest Academy '20

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Re: Southern California 2019-20 Discussion

Post by joshxu »

Another four tournaments have occurred (Triton Winter (LOGIC), DNE (BLAST), SoCal States (IS #192), and NEGFIVE (IS #190)—I'm intentionally ignoring MWT at UCSD because it was a college tournament), and accordingly it's time to revisit the state of SoCal quiz bowl again.

First, I'm going to direct you to this analysis written by Nicholas Dai (Westview), which is an excellent complement to my analysis here:
https://grogerranks.com/2020/02/26/revi ... -analysis/
*Note that this was written before NEGFIVE.

General Thoughts:
Unlike when I last posted in this thread in November, the full capabilities of teams have become more clear. The primary reason for this is that all top-tier teams have now played at least one tournament with their presumptive A teams, although teams are still predictably somewhat inconsistent across tournaments, rendering it extremely difficult to make a definitive ranking.

That being said, I am again maintaining the tier system. The tiers are mostly based on NAQT, but unlike in November I'm placing much more relative emphasis on housewrites. I've also decided not to put the most recent Groger ranking next to teams' names because they're highly misleading (namely, because CCA did not receive a ranking, Santa Monica's ranking includes one of my solo performances that's dragging it down by a lot, and Arcadia is massively underranked).

Tier 1: [Potential] National Contenders: Westview A
In what begins a trend, Westview A remains the only team in tier 1.

Westview added another win (BLAST) to its already impressive season, and finished tied for first before finals at its other two tournaments (LOGIC, losing a final to Arcadia, and IS #192, getting locked out of finals on a PPG tiebreak). Westview's HSNCT A team roster will most likely consist of Shahar, Junu, Daniel Shaw, and Gary (their roster on IS #188), although, as Nick wrote in his writeup, their final roster will likely not be determined until 2:55 PM ET on Saturday May 23rd. Accordingly, you can count on them to send different rosters to every tournament, and in spite of this you can also count on them to always finish near the top. This was embodied by their performance at states (IS #192), where a roster of Shahar, Rohan (both strong lit players), Andrew, and Pramod averaged 7.5 powers per game and 23.17 PPB while going 9-1. The team was not, however, hard-carried by Shahar, whose performance was relatively underwhelming (see in particular their round 8 win over Santa Monica, wherein Rohan, Andrew, and Pramod combined for all seven of their powers). This demonstrates the enormous depth of their squad, which has enabled them to field competitive B teams and wild card a C team to HSNCT (I'll talk more about these two teams in their respective sections). One notorious characteristic of Westview is their extremely high neg rate, the effects of which they are always able to neutralize with their high power rates and high PPB's. It's unclear, however, whether they can maintain this success at nationals, where they will face teams more suitable to take advantage of horrendous neg storms than most SoCal teams are. In spite of this, notice that I have now placed the "potential" tag in the heading for this tier in brackets.

Tier 2: Arcadia A, Canyon Crest A, Del Norte A, Santa Monica A
In what continues a trend, these four teams remain in tier 2, with no changes whatsoever. Although several of these teams have been able to defeat Westview and/or win tournaments this year, their overall inconsistency is keeping them out of tier 1 (or keeping them from falling down to tier 3). Also notice that these four teams and Westview A have finished first and second at every tournament this year so far.

Arcadia has easily been the biggest surprise this year. They have been the only team to deny Westview a tournament victory, doing so at Triton Winter and SoCal states (the latter by virtue of locking them out of finals with a 400-195 win). Sophomore Amogh Kulkarni has clearly established himself as a top-three player in SoCal, filling the void left by last year's captain Andrew Hoagland. Interestingly, Arcadia's tournament wins (LOGIC, IS #192) have come while playing shorthanded (with rosters of sophomores Amogh, Ryan Sun, and Brian Lam), but their one tournament playing with a full A team (Amogh, Ryan, Bryan Hsu, Spencer Cheng) only resulted in a T-3rd place finish. It is solely because of this inconsistency that they are not with Westview in tier 1, despite being the only team able to regularly defeat Westview A. I'm not entirely sure what the cause of this inconsistency is, but it probably just has to do with the packets as they don't have a neg problem like Westview does. As a result this year's Arcadia has both the potential to make a deep run at HSNCT (top 20 or better) but also to get knocked out early because of (an) unfavorable packet(s). I will also note that this is one of the youngest teams in SoCal, and I am confident that by 2022 they will match or surpass their 2019 HSNCT team that finished T-8.

Canyon Crest A had enormous expectations going into the year, being ranked 4th in the Groger Ranks preseason poll. It's an understatement that they have not met those expectations and have the potential to be one of the biggest busts of the year. Their 2019 performances were uninspiring, with players openly declaring their lack of motivation for quiz bowl and deciding to meme instead of play. Everyone in Southern California was implicitly beginning to write them off, with the exception of CCA's own Raymond Song, who instead did so explicitly in the post preceding this one in this thread. In 2020 CCA has played all four tournaments, splitting their A team at LOGIC and BLAST and sending a full team except Wesley to IS #192. Their performances at those three tournaments were solid, although a far cry from being title caliber (including going 0-5 in playoffs at states). At NEGFIVE, however, they sent their full roster (Raymond, Wesley, Shreyank, Jonathan) for the first time this year, and showed why they were ranked highly to begin the year. They became the first team not from Westview or Arcadia to win a tournament this year, leading the field with 25.15 PPB, which was almost 2 points higher than the next highest team. Coupled with the sharp contrast between their anemic 0-5 playoff performance on IS #192 without Wesley and their victory on IS #190 with him, their individual PPG breakdown at NEGFIVE (each within 15 PPG) as well as their PPB show how balanced their team is. I can easily see them making a deep run at HSNCT and/or PACE this year, but, as with Westview, they have a neg problem that they will have to clean up.

Del Norte A has been "cursed with forever getting second place", doing so five times this year against three different opponents (most of whom they had beaten previously in earlier rounds). Comparing their playing style from last year to this year, they have shifted dramatically. Last year they were known for their cautious gameplay that made them a sleeper to win any game, but this year their power numbers have drastically increased, getting over 7 per game on IS #192, and not corresponding with an increase in neg rate (with the exception of IS #190, where they averaged 2.5 per game, but I'll write that off as a fluke). In November I wrote that packet-to-packet inconsistency would either greatly help or hurt them, and this has continued to show in 2020, as so-called "revenge games" have often yielded different results between prelims and playoffs (or playoffs and finals)—a major reason why they continue to be plagued with finishing second. At full strength, I believe Del Norte (expected roster of Kyle, Joshua, Manasvi, and Ajai) also has the potential to make a deep run at nationals, but their packet-based inconsistency makes them a team that could easily be knocked out early (and conversely, their low-neg playing style makes them a team that could knock some strong teams out early).

Santa Monica A is the final team in tier 2. Prior to NEGFIVE I was intending to demote us to a tier 2.5 of sorts, but our strong performance there has led me to keep us here. In 2020 "we" have also attended all four tournaments, although I soloed two of them, whose results I will promptly ignore because 1) I have basically no coverage of certain subjects which my teammates cover, and 2) they were housewrites, and I am significantly geared toward NAQT. Our A team roster will almost certainly center around history/geography/current events/philosophy/sports/literature specialist Josh Xu (yes, I am a lit player now, since I get the most lit points on our team; that means we suck at lit), science specialist Josh Kong, and fine arts/myth/trash/lit specialist Alexandra Raphling. The three of us had a solid performance on IS #192, defeating Canyon Crest A twice en route to a 4th place finish, and a two-man team of Josh Kong and me finished T-3rd at NEGFIVE after a huge statement win over Arcadia A, which is the sole reason why I am keeping us in tier 2 since it demonstrates that we have the potential to seriously compete with the other teams in this tier despite having weaker stats. IS #190 was an interesting set for us, as the 6.75 powers per game Josh K. and I put up broke a long-standing school record. We were also amazingly consistent, getting exactly 7 or 8 powers in each of our first six games, and I individually had either 5 or 6 powers in 7 of 8 games (normally my intra-tournament range spans from 2 to 8 powers in a game). As I have previously noted, while I am able to hard-carry my team very far and score over 80% of our tossup points (I had 117.5 PPG across the tournament; nobody else broke 110 points in any game; yes, I'm flexing), the ultimate factor in our success is my teammates, who often come through in the clutch—Josh K. did this in our prelim win over Del Norte A by powering two literature tossups. My teammates' contributions become much more apparent on bonuses—compare my solo 20 PPB on IS #188 with our three-person 22.59 PPB on IS #192 and our four-person 23.53 PPB on IS #186. As an aside, I think our 23.53 PPB at PPT came from luck, and our PPB at states is more indicative of our true abilities. But if Del Norte is cursed with placing second, we seem to be cursed with starting 6-0 and then going on a losing streak, which happened at both states and NEGFIVE (as well as NHBB yesterday). Like Del Norte, this packet-based inconsistency can greatly help or harm us, and this gives us both the potential to pull off upsets and be upset at HSNCT.

Tier 3: Westview B
To further continue the trend, Westview B remains the only team in this tier.

There isn't much for me to say about Westview B, since its roster probably won't be determined until May 23rd. On a more serious note, their roster at LOGIC will likely be similar to their HSNCT roster, and if that ends up being the case this is a team that can pull off an enormous upset in the early rounds of playoffs. I will note that a B team of Rohan Venkateswaran, Connor Rankin, and Richard Lin did exceptionally well on IS #188 at ACE, but I will write that off as a fluke since power numbers on that set were so inflated.

Tier 4: Other Teams That Have Qualified for HSNCT; [Potential] Wild Cards: Westview C, Santa Monica B, Arcadia B, Scripps Ranch, Canyon Crest B, Del Norte B, Troy A, Troy B, Van Nuys, Valencia, Segerstrom
(I think I got everyone. If I missed someone please let me know, I'll update this section.) This is a new tier, and I'm able to create it since it's become more evident which teams intend on seeking a wild card. SoCal is a very top-heavy circuit, meaning that qualification spots get snagged up by the same teams at every tournament, making it difficult-to-impossible for such lower-tier teams to qualify.

Westview C submitted the first successful wild card application from SoCal this year. According to Nick Dai, their roster at HSNCT will look like their B team's roster from IS #192, which destroyed CCA A (without Wesley) and played competitive matches against Del Norte and Santa Monica. But again, we won't know the composition of this team until 2:55 PM on May 23rd, so I won't spend much time talking about them.

Santa Monica is seeking to wild card a B team for the second time in three years. This B team will center around history/geography/current events/jazz/"Kubla Khan" (he powers that every time, and he doesn't get any other lit) specialist Kethan Raman, but beyond that the roster composition is uncertain because it will depend on who the fourth player on our A team will be. Either Teddy Berger or Matt Sasaki (whoever's not on the A team) will be on the B team, but beyond that is even more uncertain. We will probably take at least one player from our C team that ran away with the JV division at NEGFIVE. We may even use players who have never been to a tournament before. Anyway, moving beyond speculation. Our B team at NEGFIVE was composed of Kethan, Matt, and A team member Alexandra Raphling, who was holding down our two TBD spots. This team did incredibly well during prelims, but faltered during playoffs where they were clearly overmatched by top-tier teams. They did, however, have an excellent opportunity to upset Del Norte, which would have happened had they not vulched twice and made a couple terrible negs (as an aside, I'm particularly angry at our B team for losing that game since a Del Norte loss would have put our A team at T-2 instead of T-3). Nevertheless, in spite of their 2-6 record, I was extremely pleased with their results.

Arcadia B also appears to be seeking a wild card. They finished a solid sixth at NEGFIVE with a roster of Stephen Dai, Brian Lam, Michael Kwok, and Nathan Kuo (who from what I gather would be replaced by Vincent K. at HSNCT), but was sent to the bottom bracket after losing a stats tiebreak to Santa Monica B. I really don't know much about this team because Arcadia doesn't often send B teams to tournaments, but I will note that at NEGFIVE they only trailed us [Santa Monica A] by 5 at halftime before we pulled away in the second half. I believe that at HSNCT this team could be a sleeper.

Scripps Ranch has the distinction of being one of the first teams to qualify for HSNCT, having done so at JROTC nationals in June. This season, however, their full A team has not played together at all, so I have no clue what to expect out of them. Albert and Jeremy each had a valuable 10 PPG on their T-49th place A team last year, and Frederic O'Hara has had impressive individual performances this year, so they might be a sleeper team at HSNCT.

Canyon Crest has also expressed interest in sending a B team to nationals, but I have no idea who would play on it. Given how CCA A's attendance at tournaments has been very spotty this year, I'm not sure how serious they really are in getting a B team. I'm even less confident in how they would do at HSNCT. Last year, they were hard-carried by Alan Zhu to a mere 181st place, and he has since graduated. I haven't seen much to indicate that they've made up for losing him.

Del Norte qualified a B team by splitting its regular A team at PPT in October, but their actual B team will not look anything like the team that qualified. I have no clue who will play on this team, but their JV teams have done well this year. They have one of the largest squads in SoCal, so they definitely have many players to choose from.

Troy qualified for HSNCT through JROTC tournaments, but to my knowledge they haven't played any regular SoCal tournaments yet this year (EDIT: They played BLAST and did alright for a hard set). Accordingly I'm also not sure what to expect from them.

In addition to these teams that have already registered for HSNCT, there are several others who have qualified: Van Nuys, Valencia, and Segerstrom. Van Nuys and Valencia both qualified at JROTC nationals in June (as did Scripps Ranch), but neither is registered for HSNCT and neither has ever attended it (EDIT: It appears Valencia has registered now) (EDIT 3/6: They're no longer registered now). I have no idea what the state of these two schools' teams are, considering that JROTC nationals is the only tournament they ever attend. Van Nuys seems to have an NHBB team and has expressed interest in hosting before though. As for Segerstrom, they seem to dominate their Santa Ana Kiwanis circuit, but despite winning every tournament they have never been to HSNCT. It's been expressed that SoCal has a lot of untapped potential with these insular Orange County circuits that use NAQT questions, and they seem like good targets for outreach.

Another good target would be Academic League in San Diego, half of which uses NAQT questions. To my knowledge results have yet to come out, but many teams that participate, including many that have played regular SoCal tournaments, will qualify for HSNCT, but I predict that few or none will go.

JV Tier:
There have been five JV tournaments this year (PPT, BONoBo, Triton Fall, DNE, and NEGFIVE), with varying results. The former two were somewhat competitive, with Westview and Del Norte emerging from loaded fields. The three subsequent tournaments, however, have seen one team completely dominate (Del Norte C, Oak Valley Middle A, and Santa Monica C, respectively). Despite having three teams registered, I doubt Westview will send many of its JV players to HSNCT (except maybe Daniel Jung) because of its deep varsity roster. On the other hand, I can easily see Del Norte bringing many of its top JV players to nationals on its B team, as some players (like Kumail Afshar) have already filled in for A team regulars. As for Santa Monica, a potential B team at HSNCT would most likely include at least one of the players on our C team roster at NEGFIVE. Finally, Oak Valley's dominant performance at DNE indicates that this circuit will remain strong beyond the graduation of present powerhouse A teams.

Final Thoughts:
This season has arguably been the strongest in SoCal history, and it has also been extremely competitive with finals often coming down to the final tossup. It's excellent that we've had many new schools play, although the strength of the circuit unfortunately means that they invariably get blown out by top-tier teams. Still, teams like Serra and Mount Everest have had statistically solid performances while playing in consolation brackets. Many of these schools will qualify for HSNCT from Academic League, but I'm not sure whether any intend on actually going.

How will WAIT, CALISTO, RAFT, and BHSAT play out? Will Westview return to dominance and win the three they won't host? Will Arcadia move up into tier 1? Will Canyon Crest prove all of our doubts wrong and meet its top-four expectations? Or will their A team again go missing until HSNCT? Will Del Norte finally win a tournament and break its second-place curse? Will Santa Monica be able to translate its NAQT success to housewrites? Will Santa Monica even play any of these four tournaments? Will Santa Monica B, Arcadia B, and CCA B get wild cards to HSNCT? We'll have to wait and see!

EDIT: Also, I probably missed something important. If you notice something missing please plug in the holes below!
Josh Xu

Santa Monica High School (Class of 2021)
Quiz Bowl Captain
"Club President"

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