Quiz Bowl team advances to It’s Academic semifinals
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As recording time neared, the crowd quieted down, the contestants sat up on their stools, and Whitman drumline got into position. A countdown from three, and a cameraman’s hand signal, indicated that the show was about to begin. The lights came up, the audience cheered and drumline played a short intro.
The Whitman Quiz Bowl team won their playoff round of It’s Academic taped Feb. 18 at NBC studios. Juniors Braden Longstrength and Brandon Joe, and freshman Nate Olson bested their two competitors: Loudoun County High School team and St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School team (the last two schools make up one team).
The game consisted of multiple rounds and questions from many categories. With minutes left in the game, the Whitman Quiz Bowl team was down. St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes was leading and their coach signaled to them not to buzz in too quickly. Suddenly, the Whitman team was buzzing in first, answering multiple questions in a row correctly, rapidly increasing their points. By the end of the final round, Whitman Quiz Bowl outperformed their opponents, securing their place in the semifinals.
Whitman won with 500 points at the end of the game, narrowly defeating St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School’s score of 465 points and Loudoun County High School’s score of 360.
We’re good at what we do and they were able to rely on their strengths and pull from the knowledge that they have and they really impressed me.— coach Danielle Fus
Quiz Bowl coach Danielle Fus was ecstatic about her team’s comeback.
“You get excited when your team gets something right,” Fus said. “They were just in the zone for that last toss up round. They tied it and then pulled ahead.”
Some Quiz Bowl members who typically compete in the tournaments were away for a debate tournament the weekend of the It’s Academic playoff taping. Junior Brandon Joe, who doesn’t normally compete, was brought in to fill the third seat at playoffs.
“The kind of dynamic has changed in the past month,” Longstreth said. “When you lose a player, much less two, it throws in an extra element.”
Nevertheless, the team prevailed and will be moving on to compete in the semifinals taping of It’s Academic April 23. The February playoff will air on NBC at 10:30 a.m. April 29.
“It was so great to see them be successful there,” Fus said. “We’re good at what we do and they were able to rely on their strengths and pull from the knowledge that they have and they really impressed me.”