Alabama 2017-2018

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Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:04 pm

Calendar for Alabama Scholars Bowl, 2017-2018:

Sept. 30: SMART III: The SMART Knight Rises, West Point HS
Oct. 14: Aggie Invitational, Sylacauga (Currently full)
Oct. 21: Smiths Station Invitational (DEFT mirror) (HS/MS)
Nov. 3 (FRIDAY): West Point Middle School Tourney@Wallace State CC
Nov. 4: Hoover Middle School Melee
Nov. 11: WRK @ Univ. of AL
December 2: Hoover Invitational Tournament, Hoover HS (HFT)
December 9: West Point Winter (IS-171A)
January 11/12: ASCA JV Districts
January 20: Liberty MS Tourney
January 27: ASCA MS Districts
Feb 9: High School Districts (Div I/II)
Feb 17: Auburn University Invitational (IS-168)
Feb 24: Elem/Middle School/JV State @ Hoover High School
March 10: NHBB @ Spain Park HS
April 6: Snead State @ Snead State Boaz
April 13: ASCA HS State Championships (Div I/II)
Last edited by Joshua Rutsky on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:27 pm

SMART III: The SMART Knight Rises at West Point will officially be on Sept. 30.

Our fall/winter NAQT Invitational will probably be Dec. 9.
Last edited by quizbowllee on Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Adam16 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:22 pm

Hello everyone! My name is Adam Williams and I'm the vice president of the quiz bowl team at the University of Alabama. We are organizing the annual William Rufus King Memorial Tournament and looking for teams who are interested. It will be November 11 at the university and the entry fee will be $50 per team, with a $10 discount if you'd like to bring a buzzer set. This is a bit later in the year than usual, but conflicts with home football games and ACT/SAT dates pushed it back. We are capping the tournament at 14 teams and the spots are first come, first served, so please let me know ASAP if you'd like to come. If you are interested, please contact me at agwilliams5@crimson.ua.edu. If you are not sure if you will be able to come we can hold a spot for you until October 28, so please let me know even if you are unsure.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:29 am

Never mind.

I will be meeting with the team next week and making decisions about SMART III and our Fall/Winter NAQT tournament. Conflicts keep popping up.

Stay tuned.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby bretthogan43 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:45 pm

Just finished my HSQB preseason poll so I figured I would rank my top 10 Alabama teams as well. Enjoy.

1) James Clemens - Coming off a win at ASCA state and probably one of the deepest runs ever made by an Alabama team at HSNCT, Sharath heads into his senior year with some competent backup rising through the ranks which will make for a powerful team.

2) Hoover - Didn't lose a whole lot this year, returning several power players. Had an excellent performance at HSNCT, and some quality tournament wins during the regular season. Look for them to be back in the hunt.

3) West Point - Might be a little gracious ranking them this high, however they as well do not lose very much this year, returning the Parker twins and a couple of other regular A-teamers. Impressive finishes at both SSNCT and HSNCT.

4) Sylacauga - Led by star player Will Hughes to an impressive finish at ASCA state. If his teammates can continue to improve then they will be a dangerous team on the national stage.

5) Spain Park - This might be a little low to rank them, but to my knowledge they graduated most of their team and I am unsure whether they have a JV program to back up some key losses. On the other hand, however, they did have some strong finishes including second at ASCA state and had some high PPG averages. They're anyone's guess.

6) Indian Springs - Again, anyone's guess. They kinda popped up out of nowhere later in the year last year after being inactive for a while. Despite this, they put up some impressive numbers including a top five finish at ASCA state and a competent performance at HSNCT. However I think they did lose a lot to graduation so that may factor into their success (or not) this year.

7) LAMP - Strong performances throughout the year; retaining a couple of impact players.

8) Buckhorn - Despite losing key player Matthew Dean, they will continue to be among the upper echelon of teams in the northernmost part of the state. Put up strong performances at ASCA qualifying events.

9) Vestavia Hills - Will undoubtedly have some strong performances this year led by Walter Zhang. Finished top 10 at ASCA state and top 3 at JV state. They will be a dangerous team if his teammates can back him up.

10) Sparkman - Dominant performances throughout the year, unsure if they lose Jacob Bowling or not. Strong JV team rising through the ranks.

Honorable mentions: Covenant Christian, Grissom, Altamont, Hewitt-Trussville
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:07 pm

For what it's worth, this is my personal Top 10:

1) Hoover - I struggled with Hoover/James Clemens for the top spot. Sharath is awesome. But, Hoover has four power players. I have to believe that ultimately a well-balanced TEAM will be able to defeat an individual powerhouse in the end. I could be wrong, though.

2) James Clemens - Sharath has single-handedly made the distinction between 1st and 2nd almost too close to call. They are the returning ASCA State Champs and they went extremely far into the HSNCT playoffs. If ANYONE is going to beat Hoover for the title, it's James Clemens. And - in fact - I'd give them a 49.9% chance of doing just that.

3) West Point - Am I biased? Probably. But, even when I look at this objectively, I feel like West Point is (at least here at the beginning)
"#3 with a bullet." They were 4th at ASCA State. Hoover, Spain Park, and James Clemens finished ahead of them. And Spain Park lost most of their scoring to graduation. West Point lost one starter, but has Billy Ellis - who was a starter on the A-team his 10th grade year - back to step in. All four starters have multi-year experience as A-team starters. They have played together for years and know one another's strengths and weaknesses. The Parker twins are better than ever, and Kohan Lovett is one of the best Social Science players in the state. While I think West Point is significantly behind Hoover and James Clemens, I think they HAVE to be considered #3.

4) Indian Springs - Great team. Henry and Peter are both great players and I got to know them both during NASAT activities. I know that I don't look forward to having to play them this year.

5) Sylacauga - Will Hughes scares us. Sylacauga is easily the toughest opponent West Point will have in their attempt to 3-Peat as 5A Champions. Somehow. Sylacauga and West Point managed to go all of last year without playing one another. As good as Will Hughes is, though, I have to go back to the assertion I made between Hoover and James Clemens: I have to give the edge to the TEAM over the PLAYER. If Sylacauga has some strong supporting players for Will Hughes, then this could be their year. Like with James Clemens/Hoover, I have to say that the margin is almost too close to call in 5A.

6) Southside - Judson Christopher really surprised me at NASAT. He's a very strong player who can carry Southside very far this year. I predict they will be the 6A Champions for sure.

7) LAMP - LAMP returns some strong players and has a good pipeline coming in from Baldwin Magnet. I've heard that they had some dominant players at ACE Camp this summer. It will be interesting to see how they perform this year. While I give the edge on the inaugural Private/Magnet Division Championship to Indian Springs, I would not be surprised at all if LAMP won it instead.

8) Spain Park - Somehow they always reload.

9) Grissom - Somehow they always reload. Also, somehow they managed to beat James Clemens at state last year before losing to West Point. While this caused a 3-way tie and Grissom came out losing in the end and not making the playoffs, you can't discount that they were the only team to beat James Clemens in ASCA last year. And the kids who did most of the scoring are back this year. Watch out.

10) Vestavia - Walter Zhang. Enough said.

Honorable Mentions:
Gadsden City (easily my #11 team. Not even close)
Hewitt-Trussville - seems to be getting stronger each year
Huntsville - seems to have had an off year
Buckhorn - hard to tell after most starters graduated and long-time coach Matthew Dean retired
Sparkman - another team that always seems to be right on the cusp of Elite. They may break through this year.

At any rate, it looks like it's going to be a great year for Alabama Quiz Bowl. I'm looking forward to getting started.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby AndrewWAuburn » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:24 pm

Hi, I'm looking to start a quiz bowl team at Auburn High School and have been looking for a place to start. I know there are some local tournaments in this forum but can anyone give me a few bits of advice as to what needs to be done to get the team started? Thanks!
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby username_crisis_averted » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:54 pm

AndrewWAuburn wrote:Hi, I'm looking to start a quiz bowl team at Auburn High School and have been looking for a place to start. I know there are some local tournaments in this forum but can anyone give me a few bits of advice as to what needs to be done to get the team started? Thanks!

You're probably going to get more help in the New High School Teams section than anywhere else.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:57 pm

First, good luck!

The place you want to start is with a sponsor. You and get a group of players together, but if you want to effectively start a team, you need a faculty sponsor who can help with logistics and get support from your school. That sponsor should join ASCA (forms are available on the ASCA website at home.hiwaay.net/~ASCA) in order to get your team into the state competition.

After that, download some practice questions from the packet archive on this site and start practicing! You don't need buzzers to practice; you can just say "buzz" until you are financially ready to invest in equipment. Get a group of players together who have diverse interests and start studying. The ASCA site has a list of tourneys you can attend in state, and most of them will be willing to help a new team out by discounting entry fees or waiving them.

The good news is that you have a lot of people in state willing to help you out, and to help your sponsor if you find one. If you don't, there are students at AU who would likely help coach you--Chandler West, for example, is eager to get SB going in that area. Feel free to ask questions. We will do what we can to support you. Most of all, have fun. If you aren't having fun, why play?
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:44 pm

AndrewWAuburn wrote:Hi, I'm looking to start a quiz bowl team at Auburn High School and have been looking for a place to start. I know there are some local tournaments in this forum but can anyone give me a few bits of advice as to what needs to be done to get the team started? Thanks!

Andrew, Mr. Rutsky beat me to it, but let me know if there's anything I/the rest of the Auburn (University) team can do to help you get a team started! I'm sure many others will have better advice than I about the finding a sponsor/starting a team/studying part, but these packets (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/questionsets/search/?name=SCOP%20Novice&hs=1&archived=y) are pretty good for new teams.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Jcrmoon42 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:37 pm

NHBB Coming to Spain Park on March 10, 2018.

Would love to get one going in North Alabama as well.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby AKKOLADE » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:36 pm

quizbowllee wrote:SMART III: The SMART Knight Rises at West Point will officially be on Sept. 30.


Is it true this set didn't have any fine arts in it at all?
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Rather Wild Indeed » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:07 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:SMART III: The SMART Knight Rises at West Point will officially be on Sept. 30.


Is it true this set didn't have any fine arts in it at all?


There was a singular fine arts question on the *redacted* but that's it.

Post scrubbed of unclear content- Mgmt.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:38 pm

Here's the deal on SMART III - it's the last of the SMART Trilogy. I can't put myself or my players through this again. We MAY do a SMART "reboot" in a couple of years, but we will NOT do another house-write for a while.

Here's the story of how it came to pass that there was virtually no fine arts questions:

SMART III (like SMART I and II before it) were written using Google Docs. For SMART III, I personally went through a blank document and made a template in order to make sure that the distribution was followed. For example, it may look something like this:

Tossups:

1) American Lit
2) World History
3) Fine Arts
4) Science - Chemistry
... etc ...

So, I created a template wherein there were 2/2 Fine Arts per round.

Now, here's where things get crappy. Some of my players just didn't contribute. ONE player wrote over 90% (and possibly more than 95%) of the tournament. As the tournament drew nearer and he was getting little-to-zero help, he busted his butt and finished the set. I knew some players didn't pull their weight, but I wasn't aware - until it was way too late - just how lopsided the situation was.

Here is where I take the blame: I DID proof the questions. I thought they were pretty good. In fact, I thought they were probably the best questions yet in a SMART set. However, I was so honed in to what was ON THE PAGE, that it didn't occur to me to check the distribution. After all, I had made the template, thus assuring the distribution would be followed, right?

After about 3 rounds into the tournament, I asked Hoover's team about the set. I did this because I knew they would be honest and because they are a team that I respect. They've played in great tournaments and know good/bad questions when they hear/see them. One of Hoover's players said that the questions were good, but that the distribution was crazy. I questioned this, because I had personally made sure the distribution was exact throughout. But, all four of Hoover's players were adamant that there had not been any Fine Arts. I thought this was impossible....

So, while the next round was being played, I took a physical copy of the set and started pouring through it. Sure enough, there was hardly any Fine Arts questions. It wasn't zero, but it was close enough. I was mortified. I called in the young man who actually DID write most of the set and asked him if he ignored the template I had made. His answer was "Sorta...."

As much as this sucks, it's hard for me to be mad at the kid who took on the task of writing 10 rounds almost single-handedly. I do wish he had come to me and told me that he was struggling with Fine Arts - which is NOT his strength at all - and I could have helped. But, he just wanted to come through and finish the set and apparently didn't think anyone would notice that he skirted on the Fine Arts. In his mind, he changed "a few" Fine Arts to other subjects. He didn't realize it was almost all of them.

So, I take responsibility. I should have noticed. I know it's probably hard to understand how I DIDN'T notice when I was proofing, but I just didn't. I focused on each individual question as I was reading it and just didn't focus on the distribution. It didn't occur to me, since I had made the template.

At any rate, I think the questions were pretty good. There was, though, a lack of Fine Arts.

Doing SMART for the past 3 years has been a nightmare and a constant source of stress and animosity. It's not worth it anymore. We WILL continue to do a very early tournament each year, but it will not be house-written. When and IF I have a group of students in the future who WANT to do another SMART, then we might consider it. But, for now, SMART is dead.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:43 pm

Preliminary announcement that Auburn will host a tournament on 2/17/18. We'll use NAQT IS-168 (this will be the only mirror of this set in the state). We hope lots of teams can come! Could you add this to the calendar please, Mr. Rutsky?

I'll try and get a full announcement up within the next 2 weeks or so.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:18 pm

Added.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:18 pm

The Auburn Invitational Tournament is now fully announced here http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20694. Sorry this announcement took awhile to get up. We hope lots of teams can make it!
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Middle School Rankings

Postby Cjh0024 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:49 pm

I just found this forum, and I am a first time poster (Corey Harris from Smiths Station), so go easy on me..
Since there is so much on High school, I was wondering where the middle school love was! I figured I would throw in my two cents for the top 10 middle school teams in the state, based on the tournaments this year. Obviously, it will change as more tournaments are played.

Middle School Rankings:

1. Monrovia – What a complete team. We played them at Itawamba and they cleaned up on Bonuses. They return so many key players from their deep run at state last year. It is going to be tough to beat them, no doubt.
2. Smiths Station – I’ll probably take a lot of flak from being biased, but this team is probably the best I have fielded at Smiths. All players are returning from last year, and practiced all summer as well as attended quiz bowl camp. The team is 19-3 so far on the year and has the best player in the state in Mackenzie Ensley (look her up, it is hard to argue with it) and wins over Baldwin and Highlands.
3. Baldwin Magnet – Heath has done such a great job with that program. They are young (mostly 7th graders) but man can they play. They even have a victory over Monrovia at Hoover. The only reason I would keep them in 3rd is that we are 3-o for the year against them.
4. Highlands School – Andy Schwebel, Strong Finish at MSNCT last year.
5. Liberty – Top tier program; consistently rebuild; strong finish at the hoover melee
6. Pizitz – This ranking is by name alone (I haven’t seen them play this year) but it is hard to keep a program like this not in the top 10.
7. Thompson – Have strong finishes in the tournaments I have seen them in. They have two solid returning players from last year that complement each other.
8. Discovery – Another program from the Madison area. Great finish in Hoover
9. Simmons – To me, Simmons and Bumpus are neck and neck. The tie goes to Simmons given their performance in Hoover.
10. Bumpus – See above

Honorable Mention: Berry, Gadsden City, Oak Mountain
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby literatureboye » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:24 am

@Cjh0024

What about individual player rankings this year?

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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby bretthogan43 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:49 pm

I'm bored again so I'm going to do another ranking of Alabama high school teams. Maybe it's accurate, maybe it's not. I still consider it fun either way so here ya go.

1) Hoover (Previous: #2 Hogan, #1 Henry)- Undeniably Alabama's top dogs, leaving everybody else in the dust. Their top 4 finish at freakin' Harvard and clean sweep(?) at Dorman yesterday shows this, and if that isn't enough of a testament they're holding their own against teams such as LVA, DCC, and Hunter. Their players are getting better as the season goes on and I'm looking for them to be in the top flight at HSNCT. Wowza.

2) West Point (Previous: #3 Hogan, #3 Henry)- If not for Hoover, then these guys would be running the show. Their all-senior starting line asserted Warrior dominance by sweeping CCA last week and knocking off a few very competent teams on the way, all the while making it look easy. Not to mention they were the top Alabama finisher at HIT (7th). Year after year of hard work put in and it's showing off.

3) Gadsden City (Previous: UR Hogan, HM Henry)- Proving that they can play with the big boys, they seem to go tit-for-tat with West Point, and this seems to have been the case at WRK and CCA. They seem to be a dominant force year after year.

4) Indian Springs (Previous: #6 Hogan, #4 Henry)- After being revived last year and experiencing a new wave of success in ASCA play as well as at HSNCT, Indian Springs hopes to carry that momentum through the entirety of this year, certainly doing so with solid finishes at HIT and LAMP yesterday.

5) Vestavia Hills (Previous: #9 Hogan, #10 Henry)- A stellar win at WRK catapults them up the leaderboard. They also banked on an outstanding performance from 10th grader Robby Turner for a solid finish at HIT.

6) Spain Park (Previous: #5 Hogan, #8 Henry)- As is the case with Gadsden City, the Jags have unbelievably reloaded this year after losing last year's almost entire team. Top flight finishes at LAMP, Alabama Scholars Bowl, and elsewhere prove to the world that they aren't going away anytime soon.

7) Southside (Previous: UR Hogan, #6 Henry)- Judson Christopher continues to carry Southside, and HIT stats show as much. They will still be competitive this year when ASCA play rolls around.

8) Dothan (Previous: UR Hogan, UR Henry)- Steamrolled everybody (except LAMP) at Enterprise which is impressive considering how losing Jared Stinson would have hit them pretty hard. Don't count them out.

9) LAMP (Previous: #7 Hogan, #7 Henry)- Just BARELY lost to Dothan twice at Enterprise and managed a pretty solid performance at HIT as well as WRK. Maybe lots of playing experience this year will help them fight their way to the top of the dogpile.

10) CCA (Previous: HM Hogan, UR Henry)- As always, CCA fields a solid team and they have put in solid performances at SMART, ASB, and HIT. Clearly another tough opponent. Watch out.

Honorable Mentions:
-James Clemens (Previous: #1 Hogan, #2 Henry)- Their only appearance so far this year was a Sharath-less performance at HIT in which they didn't do so hot. You don't play, you don't get ranked. They will probably be fully reloaded for ASCA competition.
-Sylacauga (Previous: #4 Hogan, #5 Henry)- Same case with Will Hughes as James Clemens has with Sharath.
-Hewitt-Trussville- Lots of playing experience and hold their own against some of the state's top teams.
-Alma Bryant- They along with Dothan, LAMP and others are trying to bring the far southern reaches of the state up to par with the north and central parts since their team is normally a competitor at most of this year's events.
-Springwood- Putting them here because I'm astounded at the fact that that team didn't just roll over and die after Venu left. I don't know if they're good or not.

Notes:
-Both Marshall and Lawrence counties are holding "county tournaments" such as Cullman, Madison, Mobile, and Baldwin do that I wasn't aware of (I thought Marshall had quit running it after Henry left BM). Good for them.
-West Point's tournament is coming up on Saturday and has 40+ teams slated. It has the possibility to radically change these rankings.

EDITED So that you can now see how teams have been adjusted since the preseason rankings made by both myself and Mr. Henry versus where I am projecting them to be now at the midseason point.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby JosipOfKumrovec » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:03 am

So, my mom has been tasked with running the middle school district tournament at Challenger Middle School in Huntsville on Saturday. We have struggled to find enough readers so far. Does anyone know anyone that may be available, or know where to look for additional readers?

Thanks,
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:36 pm

I would suggest your mother email the coaches attending and ask if they have former students who might be able to read or if a parent might be available. If you are at a high school, you might be able to convince your school's ambassador staff or students who are in need of community service hours to volunteer.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:45 pm

As of this morning, I am officially taking over as head coach of West Point Middle School.

Therefore, I will now be coaching West Point's Intermediate (5th grade), Middle (6th-8th), and High (9-12) teams.

My head is still spinning that this happened so unexpectedly. I'm looking forward to working with all of these kids and to making all of the West Points teams the best that they can be.
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Re: Middle School Rankings

Postby JosipOfKumrovec » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:11 pm

Cjh0024 wrote:I just found this forum, and I am a first time poster (Corey Harris from Smiths Station), so go easy on me..
Since there is so much on High school, I was wondering where the middle school love was! I figured I would throw in my two cents for the top 10 middle school teams in the state, based on the tournaments this year. Obviously, it will change as more tournaments are played.

Middle School Rankings:

1. Monrovia – What a complete team. We played them at Itawamba and they cleaned up on Bonuses. They return so many key players from their deep run at state last year. It is going to be tough to beat them, no doubt.


I can back this up. I read for Monrovia twice on Saturday, very strong team. They only brought four players to the tournament and they easily qualified for state. Both games I read for them, they scored over five hundred points. Had we been playing with powers, it would have been much more. I don't think it's a stretch at all to say they could beat some of the state's high school teams.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:09 pm

For those of you who are waiting, ASCA is just awaiting the report from our Coastal District to announce the State bids. We can't jump ahead because of wildcards, so we are on hold until we get that final report.

Christopher Arthur is hard at work getting stats assembled for each site, and we hope to have full reports available soon.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby literatureboye » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:16 pm

What did you guys think about the packet used at the ASCA Middle School State Championship? Honestly, I felt it was not up to the standards of NAQT, without getting into specifics, or I could just be biased because I didn't make allstate or go to playoffs. I did feel there was odd question distribution, especially regarding literature and what types of literature were used, but I won't go into detail.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:07 pm

literatureboye wrote:What did you guys think about the packet used at the ASCA Middle School State Championship? Honestly, I felt it was not up to the standards of NAQT, without getting into specifics, or I could just be biased because I didn't make allstate or go to playoffs. I did feel there was odd question distribution, especially regarding literature and what types of literature were used, but I won't go into detail.[/i]


We're sorry to hear that you were disappointed in the quality of our Middle School Series #26. Thank you for not mentioning specifics, as this set will not be clear for (at least) several months. We would welcome specific comments; please contact us at feedback@naqt.com.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby sharathun » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:58 pm

In fact, I was actually very impressed and satisfied with the set that was played this Saturday at the MS State Championship. Sometimes, I am sort of put off by some of the answerlines and questions in NAQT sets as I feel that they're not really relevant enough to be asked about (that's a personal opinion so don't take it the wrong way). In this set, I was pleasantly surprised at the common links that were asked, and the clues selected in those tossups. My players felt the same way; almost everything we reviewed together that morning was represented in some fashion in the set. I felt the questions and clues really rewarded their studying (maybe leaning towards stock, but I think that's a good thing in middle school). There were no wild jumps in difficulty between questions from what I can remember, a thing that has been an issue for me before with NAQT sets (again, personal opinion). Big thanks to NAQT for providing the set, and to ASCA for hosting. We thought it was a great tournament, and we had almost no issues.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:41 pm

sharathun wrote:In fact, I was actually very impressed and satisfied with the set that was played this Saturday at the MS State Championship. Sometimes, I am sort of put off by some of the answerlines and questions in NAQT sets as I feel that they're not really relevant enough to be asked about (that's a personal opinion so don't take it the wrong way). In this set, I was pleasantly surprised at the common links that were asked, and the clues selected in those tossups. My players felt the same way; almost everything we reviewed together that morning was represented in some fashion in the set. I felt the questions and clues really rewarded their studying (maybe leaning towards stock, but I think that's a good thing in middle school). There were no wild jumps in difficulty between questions from what I can remember, a thing that has been an issue for me before with NAQT sets (again, personal opinion). Big thanks to NAQT for providing the set, and to ASCA for hosting. We thought it was a great tournament, and we had almost no issues.


I agree. I've been out of the Middle School arena for 8 years. I took over West Point Middle School's team just three weeks ago. I was very happy with the questions. I think they are perfect for middle school. I'm not a huge fan of the "young adult," pop literature questions. But, I understand that this is middle school and it is relevant to them. After attending this tournament and looking over MS sets from the past couple of years, I have a very clear picture of what I need to do to prepare my kids to be competitive in the future.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby literatureboye » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:04 pm

Okay, I do kinda understand your points. I was just kinda put off that none of hours I put into studying literature really helped in the tournament. I don't know if it was just me, but I did also feel that current events distribution was different.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:37 pm

I don't think you're out of line, Jordan. The thing about literature as a category is that it is pretty huge; there's no promise that anything you have studied is going to come up in any given tourney, even if it seems that some things appear EVERY tourney. For a while, there was a lock on a Harry Potter question in any given set. It feels like you see a toss-up or bonus part on To Kill a Mockingbird in almost any tourney, but if you look back, you see that those questions pop up in house writes, not in every NAQT event, and NAQT can't control what other people are producing, obviously.

At any rate, you shouldn't feel like the hours you spent on Lit study didn't matter. Even if you didn't get as many toss-ups or bonuses as you would have liked, the fact that you STARTED studying lit intensively early on makes a big difference down the road. Ask Claire Tumlin from Gadsden City (54 PPG) or Jenny Baek from LAMP (34 PPG) how important their lit work was to their teams. Gadsden City finished 2nd and LAMP finished third at JV State, and those two were either top scorer or 2nd place on their teams. Good lit players are absolutely invaluable over the long haul. Don't quit; the work you do now will pay off big in a year or two.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby literatureboye » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:20 pm

Aha yeah, do I remember Claire and Jenny. They absolutely beat me down last year at camp, but thanks for the words of encouragement.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:43 am

Please note that the West Point Spring event this weekend is the last one currently on the schedule in Alabama. If you know of any other tourneys in-state prior to Nationals, please let me know.

Thanks!
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby sharathun » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:48 am

Are there any plans to form a NASAT team for this year?
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:01 pm

I believe that we decided that ASCA would offer the NASAT coach position to the winner of the state event, but I know that I will be unable to coach a NASAT squad this year. I also am pretty sure that the bulk of my team is unable to attend, but if there was interest, I am sure someone would be willing to step up to coach....
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby bretthogan43 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:20 pm

I'd like to wish the best of luck to West Point and Good Hope as they represent the great state of Alabama (and Cullman county!) at SSNCT this weekend. Go warriors and raiders.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby quizbowllee » Tue May 01, 2018 12:20 pm

bretthogan43 wrote:I'd like to wish the best of luck to West Point and Good Hope as they represent the great state of Alabama (and Cullman county!) at SSNCT this weekend. Go warriors and raiders.


Thanks, man. We did our best.
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby Joshua Rutsky » Tue May 08, 2018 2:59 pm

Congratulations to West Point for another great finish at SSNCT.

Some way too early thoughts about next year in Alabama, looking at teams that finished well this year:

#1 Hoover will lose three of its four starters, but keeps Anna Muthalaly to anchor what should be a solid team next year. Much will depend on how well other players step into new roles as varsity A. Incoming freshman Kapil Nathan, who finished 2nd in the MS state tourney in scoring, may also provide a boost.

#2 James Clemens loses Sharath Narayan, not to mention four other seniors out of their state tourney six. To say this is a big loss is to put it mildly--Sharath averaged 103 points per game at state, while his nearest teammate managed 10 PPG. To be fair, it's very hard to play alongside a buzzing machine and get toss-ups, and with Liberty as their MS pipeline school, James Clemens will not go gentle into that good night, but it may be a year or two before they return to the top eight.

#3 Altamont listed Vivek Sasse as a senior on their entry form, but I'm pretty sure he's a junior. Everyone else on their team is also listed as seniors, however. Now, without knowing the real story on that, I can't be certain of anything, but if Vivek is back next year, Altamont is automatically a state playoff team. He's a strong all-around player who only needs some role players to help him, and Altamont can supply those annually. His younger brother is also on the way up.

#4 Gadsden City is a team to be reckoned with next year. The Kelley family continues to sit a solid first chair with Josh, and Claire Tumlin, who is either the second or third best lit player in this state, depending on the day, is a rising SOPHOMORE. Mustafa Enver will be back, as will Ade, and Gadsden should have many upcoming players from middle school to draw upon as well. Last year was a season to grow on; this year Gadsden is very much back in the hunt, if not leading the pack.

#5 West Point is going to be in full rebuild, as they say goodbye to the Parker twins and the always talkative Kohan Lovett. West Point's MS team didn't fare that well at MS State, but You Should Never Bet Against Lee Henry(TM) to field a team that upsets some big names. They'll make it to state, but beyond that is a guess.

#6 Indian Springs is bringing back Will Smtih, another dominant player, and his 100 PPG state performance was enough to propel ISS into the playoffs. Will it be enough this year, though? Why not? Smith will get some new blood as four of his five teammates graduate, but that blood comes from Indian Springs, where if anyone takes something seriously, they immediately become a serious threat. Coach William Blackerby has gotten things back on track over there.

#7 Spain Park finished just shy of Indian Springs, and they are losing Grady, EJ, and Shameem from their starting lineup. Anastasia Zellner will return, however, and Spain Park hasn't finished outside the playoffs at State since 2012. There's no reason to think they won't make state again.

#8 Sylacauga may be one of the teams to beat next year. They lose Gianna Silla, who was a big stabilizing influence on the team, but will return five seniors, including Will Hughes, who was third behind Sharath and Vivek in PPG at State. Lots of experience here, and plenty of reason to expect a deep run for them.


Outside that group, but don't forget them:

LAMP - Sure, Jacob is graduating, and he was the team scoring leader, but look at LAMP carefully--this is a TEAM, not a single player squad. Their other three players all scored over 20 ppg at state, and that includes two rising sophomores. Anirudh is quiet, but he knows his stuff, and Jenny Baek is the second or third best lit player in the state, depending on the day. This team will be in the playoffs in 2019.

Southside High School - Judson Christopher is back once more for his senior year, and he brings back all his teammates from a squad that barely missed the top 8 and won the 6A title.

Grissom - has Jake Greer, a rising junior who put up 70 ppg at state in the prelims. Who knows what else will be there? Will we see them play before state? Your guess is as good as mine.

Hewitt-Trussville - The Huskies were much improved this year, and will continue to grow as their team gets more experience. They're taking the game seriously and working hard.

Alabama will be represented at HSNCT this year by the following teams:

American Christian
Auburn HS
Covenant Christian
Hoover
Indian Springs A
Indian Springs B
James Clemens
LAMP
Southside

West Point cannot attend due to graduation ceremonies. Best of luck to everyone!
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Re: Alabama 2017-2018

Postby iarehavethestupid » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:29 am

Since there has been a high school one, is anybody interested in doing a middle school ranking?

Or perhaps staring a new thread?(Alabama 2018-2019)
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