Best Ever Scholastic Bowlers

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
HAHAHA
Lulu
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Best Ever Scholastic Bowlers

Post by HAHAHA »

Who have been, in your mind, the best players ever in Illinois. The best player I have seen/played against was easily Paul Gauthier, but who else has been great? David Abram was another very good player I played against, and I know that Yogesh Raut was a very good player, but he was before my time. And I'm sure there were many other players of whom I am ignorant. So who else were, in your mind, all-time greats?

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

I was pretty good in high school, but, alas, I never played outside something in Chicago called the "Metro North League", so I don't have anything to measure myself against.

There was a guy named "Nick" from Latin that was pretty good too. Since Latin plays in things that people have actually heard of, some of you may know of him.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

G_Unit
Lulu
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:33 pm
Location: Salem, IL
Contact:

Post by G_Unit »

In my opinion, Yogesh is far and away the best player I've seen. When we were on Team Illinois my senior year and we played in Ohio, we had a free round for some reason, so we faced off as five against Yogesh. If I remember correctly, we won, but just barely, he was/is that good. Saw him at ICT last year playing for Stanford (I believe he got a scoring award there as well), and no doubt he would have been blazing the west coast for a while, but it appears he was busy studying abroad at the time.

Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan »

Bruce wrote:There was a guy named "Nick" from Latin that was pretty good too. Since Latin plays in things that people have actually heard of, some of you may know of him.
If you speak of Nick Butrick, I will vouch for him. He was good. But before Nick Buttrick there was Jim "Crash" Davis who was a really good player for the Latin School.

Yogesh Raut from IMSA was really good.....I seem to recall a great match between him and another great player, Gary Leuty from Salem at the Ultimate Scholar (the Scholbol Solo before there was a Scholbol Solo). Gary was another great player, and sadly underrated because he was from downstate. He was as good as any great player!

Ben Taylor (:?:) from Guilford in Rockford was awesome in a more recent time. He and his team could not push past Auburn, but he was definitely Cooperstown-worthy.

The three-headed threat from Wheaton North: Lori Sommars was their captain for their first State Title....an outstanding player, but I thought an even better captain....she really knew how to run the team during a match. David Vock was a senior for the second state title, and he was good. Paul Gauthier was an amazing player (leading a team to 95-1 qualifies you for such)....certainly on the short list of the best of the best.

I seem to recall a guy from Byron named Matt Childers...I think Byron placed at state three of his years, culminating in a state championship round where he answered something like 14 tossups out of 30 asked.

User avatar
Irreligion in Bangladesh
Auron
Posts: 2076
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Winnebago, IL

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Kelly Tourdot, Stillman Valley. Discuss.

Admiral
Lulu
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:59 pm
Location: Land of Lincoln (but not Nebraska)

Post by Admiral »

styxman wrote:Kelly Tourdot, Stillman Valley. Discuss.
I saw her play once in a regular season match and twice downstate. Very well might have been the best Class A player her senior year. Like with any player, she had her strengths, and like any player certain tournaments she did better, depending on the questions, the one regular season match I saw her in, she answered three questions, and her teammate AJ Newhousen scored something like five or six. Stillman Valley was a great team that year with great players, and Kelly was the best. In the arts, she might be the best I ever saw.....her level of "obscure knowledge" was excellent (even when she was wrong, she was answering with some dusty painting that I imagine only a true art lover would know)
"The first rule of quiz bowl is that you do not talk about quiz bowl.....Second Rule...last names only!"

suds1000
Wakka
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 2:17 am
Location: Chicago

Post by suds1000 »

With regard to Kelly Tourdot, she now plays for my UIUC team, and she is far and away the best visual arts player I have ever seen...she was key to our DII team's success last year. Everything I have heard (including accounts of her play at IHSA state from various individuals) indicates that she was a major ass-kicker, and that Stillman Valley was one of the best IHSA teams ever assembled, thanks to her and AJ.

Mike has claimed to me in the past that Jim Davis was supposedly an ass-kicker in high school too, but for best player ever, I don't know (and he's not nearly as good at the collegiate level, as we pounded his Harvard team by over 350 points twice at last year's ICT).

With regard to Yogesh, he's definitely a very talented player...his Team Illinois (which also included Gary Leuty and Dave Werner, two great players in their own right) dismantled my DCD team at the PACE NSC in 2001. This was after said DCD team had taken second at NAQT HSNCT and was in the semifinals at that very NSC. Then again, that's Team Illinois, an all-star team...and come on now, is that really fair?

Best player ever...I've never heard of this Gauthier, but I think another name that should probably be in this fray is Ben Ricca, formerly of Streator. I've heard amazing things about his work, playing as a one-man team for several years.

Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan »

Paul Gauthier was a member of three state champions (and would have been a freshman on a state runner-up, but I don't recall the extent of his impact). After graduating two All-State players, he was the big cog on a team that went 95-1 for their third state championship in a row. Wheaton North was an awesome team, but he was great. A very quiet, unassuming leader who came to gut you like a fish. He reminded me a great deal of Mike Singeltary, the Bears' old linebacker.

I only saw Ben Ricca once. His reputation preceded him. He was obviously good, but his teams never seemed to get that last break they needed to get over the top. That certainly shouldn't exclusively be Ben's fault, and it shouldn't take away from his being in this discussion.

As for K.T, if I were assembling an "All-Time" team of ten, she'd be on it, and if I was tracking toss-ups and I knew some fne arts were coming, I would feel confident in pulling the whole team, and letting her go alone. She was hardly one dimensional, but in that area, she was a grand-master.

User avatar
mrsmiley4
Lulu
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:50 pm
Location: Hyattsville, MD
Contact:

Post by mrsmiley4 »

Don't know how the arms race in Illinois Quizbowl has played out in the 21st century, but from a late-90s perspective (Ooh! Practically prehistoric! ;):

Ben Ricca graduated the same year that I did, and there's no question in my mind that he's one of the best quizbowlers ever to grace the Illinois High School circuit. Ben was basically a team unto himself-- Stevenson played against Streator more times than I can count, and I am trying and failing to think of an instance where another member of his team buzzed in with a correct answer ahead of him. (Admittedly, it's been almost 5 years, so my memory may be rusty.) As far as I know, he essentially powered Streator to three top-4 IHSA finishes by himself, as well as various other tournament victories-- A lot of our Streator matches would come in the semi-finals or championship games of invitationals, and until the 99-00 season we would just get STOMPED on.

Yogesh was also as good as the other posters here indicate-- I was on Team Illinois with him in 2000, and while he wasn't at the top of his game all the time at that particular tournament, that may have been a format issue for him-- he was very good in most other instances in which we played him. His stats at any given tournament were all the more impressive considering that the IMSA team his sophomore and junior years was just all-around terrifyingly strong. (Obviously, I wasn't there for his senior year, but I presume that more of the same was going on there.)

I'd also like to second someone's mention of Gary Leuty, whom I didn't get to play against much because he was in a Class A school downstate but whom I also had the good fortune to be on the 2000 Team Illinois with. I was very impressed with his play at both Team Illinois practices and at the tournament in Florida itself.

One name I'm mildly surprised not to see here is Stephen Moore, who was perhaps not as high-profile as a Yogesh Raut or a Ben Ricca but could certainly hold his own in that sort of field. We didn't play D-Mac particularly often, but when we did we knew we were in for a challenge, in no small part because of his presence on the team.

Man... dredging all of this up is making me nostalgic for high school... it's entirely too soon out of school for me to start getting nostalgic. No good.

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Post by dtaylor4 »

mrsmiley4 wrote: One name I'm mildly surprised not to see here is Stephen Moore, who was perhaps not as high-profile as a Yogesh Raut or a Ben Ricca but could certainly hold his own in that sort of field. We didn't play D-Mac particularly often, but when we did we knew we were in for a challenge, in no small part because of his presence on the team.

Man... dredging all of this up is making me nostalgic for high school... it's entirely too soon out of school for me to start getting nostalgic. No good.
From my indirect experiences with Stephen, he was not as good as you say. He almost single-handedly destroyed Scholastic Bowl here at Mac. How can he be considered one of the best when his senior year he lost to Mt. Zion in IHSA regionals? For some reason or another whenever he comes back to visit he is openly antagonistic towards me. He was pretty good, but I bet that one-on-one, right now I could beat him at his best.

Tegan
Coach of AHAN Jr.
Posts: 1975
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:42 pm

Post by Tegan »

One thing that usually upsets me a lot in the world of professional sports is when people say "such and such" isn't that good....because he/she/it never played on a champion.

A team championship, while the highest goal for everyone, is a TEAM accolade. I have always believed that no "individual" should ever be credited with a "win". I also don't believe that just because the rest of the team may not be as good, it should not necessarily be a mark against a great player. Ty Cobb (racist scum that he was) was a great baseball player...but never won a championship. A third stringer on the recent Yankees teams is exhaulted because he was on the pine for the championship run.

For the record, Gary Leuty went to Salem, and while a downstate school, was actually a Class AA team. I think he is among the more underrated players in the last ten years. I recall seeing him in the finals at the olde "Ultimate Scholar" at Illinois Wesleyan (playing Yogesh Raut, as I recall), and not losing by much.

I never got to see Stephen Moore (I heard many stories), but always heard great things of his playing ability. While I do not know the story (and don't care to invite rumor), I wouldn't necessarily say he was "bad"...or "not worthy of being among the greatest" because of a Regional loss.

Another name I'll throw out is Parag Bhayani of Homewood-Flossmoor. After years of getting topped by Lincoln Way (and L-W East), he finally heralded a return of H-F to downstate (for one year), but their opening match was a win over Wheaton North (the only match they have lost down state in any of their years as state champion). They lost a tiebreaker, and failed to place. He was an "All-American" at Panasonic (the first in Illinois history).

leprechauns!
Lulu
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 1:11 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Post by leprechauns! »

Parag was awesome. 'nuff said. I distinctly remember playing him twice in H-F's downstate year, once at Von Steuben and once in the Sectional Championship match, back when it was bracketed. At Von Steuben, he was the fastest player I have ever seen in high school. Granted, the questions are easy, but we're talking one-word buzzes, (i.e. "wolfra-" *buzz* - Tungsten). He always knew where the question was going.

And of course, during his trouncing of us (LW-E) in the sectionals, his younger brother came in, Paras, and got tossups just as well. Luckily for us SICA teams, Paras went to IMSA. =) I believe that was the first year in a few that LW did not go downstate.
Nikolai Brendler ~ University of Michigan

User avatar
pblessman
Tidus
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Culver, Indiana

Yogesh Raut and Jim Davis

Post by pblessman »

My votes go to Yogesh Raut (IMSA 97-01) and Jim Davis (Latin School 98-02). Both showed amazing speed, anticipation, poise and breadth. I've coached several different teams which went to nationals and seen other great national caliber players compete- these two could compete with anybody out there.

G_Unit
Lulu
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:33 pm
Location: Salem, IL
Contact:

Post by G_Unit »

Jim Davis - there's another name worth mentioning. Mix the speed with the incredible knowledge of a wide array of academic knowledge, and you've got a solid player. Perhaps not the best I've seen, but I never played Latin that much.

Stephen Moore - I could see where Stephen would be one of those people you really liked or couldn't stand. Personally, we got along together just fine, and we had some generally good times at a couple of tournaments. Definitely a good player (one of the better ones I've known), but I'm not sure he had the backup he needed at some crucial moments. We played D-Mac in the semifinals of IHSA Sectionals back when he was in, and we managed to just eke out a win which the score belies (that was the de facto sectional championship; we steamrolled the next team to earn our spot at State). One of my favorite memories was at the end of that match, when Stephen informed me that he had scored more points than I had, I replied something to the effect of "That's great; now it's time for you to go home."

On the subject of not being on a championship team - The crowning achievement of my HS career was our team's victory at Masonic State my senior year*. Other than that, we were several times an also-ran at IHSA State, where most of our regions coaches considered it a victory just to have made it. What makes Masonic a great memory for me is the clutch play of some of my more buzzer-shy teammates to win some very close games throughout the tournament, from Sectionals all the way up. Admittedly, there were times that it seemed most of the team phoned it in, leaving it up to one or two players, but when the team as a whole comes together, it is something to behold.

The second time I felt that happened was at college last year, when our Illinois team took second to UCLA (in a ruling I still dispute) at ICT DII. It felt like everyone had a part to play, and when it came time, we all did what needed to be done.

*That and the 825-195 blowout of a local team in a televised tournament in Southern Illinois. The mark still stands as the highest score in that tournament's history, I believe.

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Post by dtaylor4 »

G_Unit wrote: Stephen Moore - I could see where Stephen would be one of those people you really liked or couldn't stand. Personally, we got along together just fine, and we had some generally good times at a couple of tournaments. Definitely a good player (one of the better ones I've known), but I'm not sure he had the backup he needed at some crucial moments. We played D-Mac in the semifinals of IHSA Sectionals back when he was in, and we managed to just eke out a win which the score belies (that was the de facto sectional championship; we steamrolled the next team to earn our spot at State). One of my favorite memories was at the end of that match, when Stephen informed me that he had scored more points than I had, I replied something to the effect of "That's great; now it's time for you to go home."
Part of the reason he had no backup was because all the people who were his friends when he entered high school were frustrated because he was a jackass at practice, never studying, but he got most of the tossups, and by his junior year most of them had quit.

Locked