MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

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Lawrence Simon
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MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by Lawrence Simon » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:03 pm

After another great year on the DMV circuit, maybe the best since I've been playing, it's sad for me to consider all of the talent from our area that's graduated. Still, having seen all of the talent that was on the circuit this past year, I'm also very excited to see how the circuit plays out for the 2015-2016 school year. Some schools will be losing almost all of their scoring and some of them will be returning all of their major players. Just to get everyone's perspectives on things, I thought I'd give my two cents on the teams from this year and how they might be for next year. For my own ease I decided to split it up my state/district rather than attempt a reasonable ranking of teams without any others' input.

Maryland

Richard Montgomery (HSNCT: T-21; PACE: 10th)
Richard Montgomery has the distinction of being the only Maryland team on the circuit to win a competition this year, two actually: Blair Spring and Johns Hopkins Invitational. They were distinctly the best team in Maryland this year, with a group of seniors that has been developed well over the course of their four years in quizbowl. The team was centered around Gabe as a lit-based generalist, with Ben providing the role of an NAQT player while Trinish and Farah squared out the teams science scoring and every member scoring all over the distribution, providing excellent, deep coverage. Despite a less-than-expected T-21 finish at HSNCT, they more than made up for it with a top 10 finish at PACE NSC. The only downside of RM's team is that they are all seniors, and as a result will be losing the entirety of their team's scoring for the next year. But don't count them out by any means. RM returns Yu Lu and Alex Echikson from their B team who will take over the role of at least Gabe and Ben, respectively, from their previous A team. Althought their B team has been very good, the best in the area in fact, they didn't get much playing time. They did, however, come in 5th place at GSAC and with Yu and Alex forming the basis of their team for next year, whatever two other players they add will not detract from their team being serious national contenders next year. Based on what I've seen, I consider it likely that Dash and Saam may form the remainder of their team next year, but RM's program is large and well-developed so whoever they choose to put on the team next year will obviously be good. Overall the team will likely not be as good as this past year's, but good nonetheless.

Centennial (HSNCT: T-21; PACE: 26th)
Centennial was the most balanced team to come out of Maryland this year, with an A team formed out of two seniors, one junior, and one sophomore. The seniors, Weijia and Ryan, who provided great coverage of NAQT areas, as well as subjects all over the distribution. Gary, the junior, was the team's lead scorer at most regular season tournaments, returns next year as the leading humanities scorer on the team and a fantastic player in lit, fine arts, history, and many other areas. Jason, the sophomore, rounded out the team as a great science player with knowledge that scaled up amazingly at both Nationals. However, due to poor luck at HSNCT and a lack of Gary at PACE, Centennial didn't live up to their potential as a top 10 team at either Nationals. Luckily, they return Gary and Jason, who will form the base of what I predict to be the best Maryland team for next year. I discussed this with Centennial B at Blair Spring, who opined that Kevin and Siri from Centennial's B team will be brought up for next year's team, with Kevin providing scoring in NAQT subjects and Siri scoring on RMP and other niche areas. Altogether this team will likely not be as good as their most recent team, but may actually score higher at either Nationals next year with enough work.

Montgomery Blair (HSNCT: T-13; PACE: 7th)
Despite not attending the most number of tournaments for a Maryland team, Blair still managed to bring their A-game to both Nationals and as a result outranked every other team from Maryland at both competitions. The dynamic duo of Arjuna and Cathy was worthy of Batman and Robin, while the support from Alex and Noah rounded out the team in less general areas that made them a very worthy team. Despite this surprise boost with higher difficulties, things don't look as good for Blair's team for next year as both Arjuna and Cathy are graduating, leaving Noah and Alex as the basis for next year's team. While this doesn't bode poorly for them as I've played with and against Alex and Noah and they both are great quizbowlers, I'm not sure that they will be able to reach Blair's heights that they did this past year. It's clear that Blair still has a wide range of people to pick from to form the basis of their team for next year, but I predict that this team will likely drop down a bit in the rankings. However, we've seen Blair bounce back from worse so I'm sure that they will make up for it in some way.

Quince Orchard (HSNCT: T-21; PACE: T-19)
Oh boy, my team. Quince Orchard has spent four years building up a good team that was lucky to make it even as far as it made this past season, coming in third or fourth place in a couple competitions. I formed the main scoring in general areas like history, fine arts, literature, some myth and ScoSi as well, and QO also graduates Henry, a good biochem player, and Sean from the A team. However, don't count QO out just yet. QO returns both their second and third scorers as seniors next year, Tanay and Natalie. Tanay has developed into a solid science player and has now begun to branch out into music, myth, and economics to provide better coverage for the team. Natalie has spread out of the year from just literature, which she is also solid at, to visual fine arts, religion, and philosophy. The team brings up junior Logan Feingold and senior Ben Meit from the B team next year with Logan developing into a solid third scorer for next years team with points in history and CE, while Ben provided decent scoring in geo and visual fine arts. I'm not entirely sure if they'll make it as far as the team did this year, but they will certainly try their best to.

Walter Johnson (HSNCT: 144; PACE: N/A)
Despite losing a great group of seniors in 2014, WJ was able to stay competitive on the regional circuit thanks to the efforts of a dedicated squad of good players. Ho-Jung lead the team in scoring with lit and fine arts, while Tommy provided a decent NAQT player with various support players coming and going. The team still managed to make it to one Nationals, finishing 5-5 at HSNCT without graduating anyone of note. This bodes well for them for the 2015-2016 season so long as their current members continue to improve as they have been over the course of this year. It remains to be seen, however, if they will be able to reach the heights of their past seasons. Regardless, expect to see great improvement for WJ over the summer. Although I think I heard that they might be having some trouble with their coach for next year.

Also worth mentioning:
Walt Whitman
Eleanor Roosevelt

Virginia

Maggie Walker (HSNCT: T-5; PACE: 3rd)
As the Nationals rankings above indicate, Maggie Walker was a consistently amazing team in the past season, covering everything in the distribution with depth and excellence. Connor provided the basis of the team's scoring with scoring on history, and basically everything. Patrick provided a great lit player as well while Will played science like a boss whenever the chance was given to him. Patrick and Will are both returning from the core of this past year's team with Parth and whatever fourth scorer Maggie Walker brings up from their B team. We got a slight glimpse of the team for this next season at Cavalier Classic, where Patrick put upwards of 100 ppg with Will scoring around 35 ppg. I expect Will's share of the distribution to increase for next year but Patrick will return next year as likely the best player in the state, maybe the whole region! Regardless I consider it likely that Maggie Walker will continue to be the best team in the area next year, although I'm not sure if they'll score in the top 5 at both Nationals, but they will definitely be a contender for the top 10.

Western Albemarle (HSNCT: T-5; PACE: 5)
Coming in a consistent position at both Nationals, Western Albemarle was based around HSQBRank Player of the Year Eric Xu, who was easily the best individual player in the nation for the 2014-2015 school year. Despite the breadth and depth of Eric's knowledge, being only human Eric graduated high school and now has left his teammates at Western Albemarle to rebuild from the ashes. The only player that Western Albemarle appears to be returning from either Nationals is Caroline. However, as as many as 3 teams emerged from WA this past year, it appears that Eric's attempts to build up a program may have bared some fruit. While WAHS is not a lost cause for the next season, it's gonna take a heck of a lot of studying and practice for the team to get anywhere near as good as they were last year. And, of course, GO WAHOOS!

Thomas Jefferson (HSNCT: T-34; PACE: 15th)
It appeared as though TJ was still recovering from the 2012-2013 season throughout the regular season this year, but their superb placing at PACE showed that this is a team with awesome potential for next year. Ryan formed the basis for a strong team with general knowledge, his lit knowledge outstanding, but with a supporting cast that kept rotating. TJ's only major graduate is Ranjani, setting them up for a great season next year so long as they study, which I'm sure they will. I don't know much about the majority of their players for the next season, but I consider it likely that they'll be the second best team in the state next year behind Maggie Walker. Maybe even ahead of them if they try their hardest.

Loudoun County (HSNCT: N/A; PACE: T-50)
After losing some great seniors after last season, Loudoun County stayed competitive with Reese, Adrian, and Jack as the base of their most recent A team. The team managed to make it far at multiple regional tournaments throughout the year, even achieving a winning record at ACF Fall this past season. Their team managed to actually make it further than their team from the previous season at PACE, but again they graduate half of their team. Jack and Colin are definitely good building blocks for a team for next year, but they'll need to buff up and find some teammates to remain a good team.

Cave Spring (Didn't attend either Nationals)
Despite not attending either HSNCT or PACE NSC, Cave Spring still made themselves known at regional competitions throughout the year. Although it seemed like Ethan would emerge as the team's leading scorer as the year began, the opposite ended up happening and the team became more well-rounded, and a result did better. They came in second place on VTACO, beating Loudoun County. Luckily they return the entirety of their A team from this year, including Ethan and Tom. They will definitely be a sizable force on the circuit next year and one to watch out for at Nationals.

Also worth mentioning:
Blacksburg?

Washington D.C.

Georgetown Day School (HSNCT: T-77; PACE: N/A)
GDS emerged as a regional favorite early in the year by winning Maryland Fall over preseason faves like RM, Centennial, and Blair before dropping off of the map besides a third place finish at GSAC, and some sprinkled appearances here and there throughout the season. Despite receiving notoriety for their win, they weren't able to muster up the same magic later in the season, coming in a lackluster T-77th at HSNCT. The team, made of dual generalists Noah and Tajin with perennial third scorer Ned bringing up the rear graduates both Noah and Ned. While this would seem to harm their chances for next year, by no means should any team with Tajin Rogers on it be considered down and out. We got a glimpse of what their A team will likely look like next year at Blue Hen in March, where a Tajin-led B team finished second behind Charter. They might not do as hot in the regular season but they will definitely remain the best DC team by a mile.

St. Anselm's (HSNCT: N/A; PACE: 74th)
Another team that is still in the recovery period after a great 2012 squad, St. Anselm's has remained a young team over the past few seasons, even after Tajin moved to GDS. As their team at PACE shows, all of their current A team members appear to be underclassmen, which will be a net positive when they continue to improve upon their middle-of-the-pack status from this past season. Expect great things from this team, if not this upcoming year then at the latest the season after that.

Also worth mentioning:
Idk, Gonzaga?

Please feel free to drop off whatever information and opinions you guys have for the 2015-2016 season. Obviously I'm not gonna be right on everything, even on most things.
Lawrence Simon
Quince Orchard Class of '15
University of Virginia Class of '19

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wcheng
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Re: MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by wcheng » Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:19 pm

First off, I'd like to thank everyone here for a great four years of experience with quizbowl. Playing against you guys has really sharped my skills and driven me to learn a lot more about things that I never thought I would be interested in. I wish everyone the best of luck, whether they are staying in high school or will be going on to play in college. In particular I hope to see my fellow high school graduates again while playing quizbowl at UMD!

I'm not the most knowledgeable about the situation with most schools, but I can provide some input about the situation at Centennial. Gary and Jason will of course be at the core of next year's Centennial A, but at this point there are numerous people who could potentially fill the last two spots. You've mentioned Kevin and Siri, but in my opinion there are several other younger players from our team who could be a part of the A team, given enough time and dedication. In particular, I would point to Steen Alme and Rohan Laljani from our C team at the HSNCT, which actually statistically outperformed our B team with Kevin and Siri. With as many club members as Centennial has, however, I believe that the potential exists for someone previously unnoticed to really start studying and stand out.
Weijia Cheng
Centennial '15
Maryland '18 (Fall)

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Off To See The Lizard
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Re: MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by Off To See The Lizard » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:21 pm

Lawrence Simon wrote: Walter Johnson (HSNCT: 144; PACE: N/A)
Although I think I heard that they might be having some trouble with their coach for next year.
Last I talked to him, Mr. Safford said that he wanted to stop being the advisor for the Quizbowl club at WJ next year because of other duties, time commitments and family responsibilities. He's been an incredible coach, very supportive and encouraging of his players while also knowing when to provide helpful input. He's also hilarious and can be an incredibly calming presence in stressful times. He'll be sorely missed.
Sameen Belal
Walter Johnson '14
New York University '18

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Re: MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by youngpine » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:52 pm

Off To See The Lizard wrote:
Lawrence Simon wrote: Walter Johnson (HSNCT: 144; PACE: N/A)
Although I think I heard that they might be having some trouble with their coach for next year.
Last I talked to him, Mr. Safford said that he wanted to stop being the advisor for the Quizbowl club at WJ next year because of other duties, time commitments and family responsibilities. He's been an incredible coach, very supportive and encouraging of his players while also knowing when to provide helpful input. He's also hilarious and can be an incredibly calming presence in stressful times. He'll be sorely missed.
I agree with all of that- Mr. Safford is an awesome coach and person in general.
WJ managed to get another sponsor though, and Mr. Safford might be helping out periodically.
Ho-Jung Yang
Walter Johnson High School

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Byzantium1453
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Re: MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by Byzantium1453 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:57 am

What! Who?
Nathan Fredman
WJ 2014
UMD 2018
UIUC 2024?

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Vainamoinen
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Re: MD/VA/DC Area Discussion 2015-2016

Post by Vainamoinen » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:04 pm

Lawrence Simon wrote:Maggie Walker (HSNCT: T-5; PACE: 3rd)
As the Nationals rankings above indicate, Maggie Walker was a consistently amazing team in the past season, covering everything in the distribution with depth and excellence. Connor provided the basis of the team's scoring with scoring on history, and basically everything. Patrick provided a great lit player as well while Will played science like a boss whenever the chance was given to him. Patrick and Will are both returning from the core of this past year's team with Parth and whatever fourth scorer Maggie Walker brings up from their B team. We got a slight glimpse of the team for this next season at Cavalier Classic, where Patrick put upwards of 100 ppg with Will scoring around 35 ppg. I expect Will's share of the distribution to increase for next year but Patrick will return next year as likely the best player in the state, maybe the whole region! Regardless I consider it likely that Maggie Walker will continue to be the best team in the area next year, although I'm not sure if they'll score in the top 5 at both Nationals, but they will definitely be a contender for the top 10.
With about a week until the first tournament of the season in the area (Maryland Fall), I wanted to make some things clear about our team. This has already been hinted to by Fred Morlan on the rankings, but Patrick will not be returning this year, and thus will prolly not be the best player in the region. More importantly, top 10 is definitely an overestimation of where our team stands right now. Our team this year will be composed of three juniors and me. I've been working on generalizing, but I'm no Connor. Our juniors are good, but unproven. The tough competition (despite currently missing RM and TJ, you guys should register) at Maryland Fall will be a very interesting first test.

Also:
Lawrence Simon wrote:Thomas Jefferson (HSNCT: T-34; PACE: 15th)
It appeared as though TJ was still recovering from the 2012-2013 season throughout the regular season this year, but their superb placing at PACE showed that this is a team with awesome potential for next year. Ryan formed the basis for a strong team with general knowledge, his lit knowledge outstanding, but with a supporting cast that kept rotating. TJ's only major graduate is Ranjani, setting them up for a great season next year so long as they study, which I'm sure they will. I don't know much about the majority of their players for the next season, but I consider it likely that they'll be the second best team in the state next year behind Maggie Walker. Maybe even ahead of them if they try their hardest.
After having played against TJ at PACE and having played with Ryan at NASAT I am convinced this team is definitely the best in the state. The traditional powerhouse (at least in Virginia) seems to be on the rise again. Hopefully their sponsor situation doesn't negatively impact them too much.


Anyways, I hope to see as many teams as possible at Maryland Fall and VCU Fall. Good luck everyone.
Will Overman
MW '16
Caltech '20

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