2019-20 NC Discussion

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esmitchell
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2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by esmitchell »

This thread is for any discussion on NC quizbowl - teams, players, etc.
Ewan Mitchell
East Chapel Hill '20
NC State '24
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by jaguar19 »

Here are some notes that I have for this year as a recently graduated player of the state.

Early College at Guilford has been the best team in the state for the last five years, but they suffer a huge blow this year with the graduation of Ridge and Derek. The only returning A-team member is rising sophomore Trisha. She has immense growth potential as a player, but out of the rising juniors and seniors this year that will need to replace the history and science points of Ridge and Derek, it remains to be seen how well ECG will fare.

East Chapel Hill loses Nick, Sophie, and William, but retains solid history player Ewan and national rising star Benjamin. As a freshman, Benjamin was the highest ranking player overall from NC at HSNCT. Given his young age, he will likely grow into one of the best in the country. If East can find two more players to support Benjamin and Ewan, then I am certain that they will ascend not just to the best team in the state, but to one of the best teams in the country.

Atkins was the underdog team this year, going from placing fifth at Quaker Bowl to being state runner-ups and the highest placing team at HSNCT behind Guilford and East. However, they lose almost all of their A team, so I don't know if they will repeat the previous year's success.

Raleigh Charter loses Arya, TJ, and Sam. The only member of the A team returning is Ekartha. In terms of revamping the team, rising senior Michael is a potential player, but out of their large quiz bowl program, it remains to be seen who will replace this year's outgoing seniors.

Like Raleigh Charter, NCSSM only retains one consistent scorer. As a new player, Kevin put up solid points on a team with already good players, but whether he gets the support to get to the same level as Aryan and Vittal remains to be seen. NCSSM's performance this year will depend on how many new juniors will join.

TJ Classical loses John and Turner but retains Jonathan and Cole. They put up strong performances this past year and with the right touch, they will continue their streak this upcoming fall and be strong contenders for states.

I did not play Providence this year, but seeing their stats at a few tournaments, it seems as though they retain most of their players. If they compete more, they might make an impression.

After an admittedly lackluster performance at HSNCT, I really can't say much for Carrboro, with myself, Arun, and Nick graduating. I am concerned about next year's team's future, having observed their level of depth and commitment. But I am hopeful that they can turn things around under the leadership of Noah.

In short, I feel Guilford's days as best in the state are numbered and East will likely earn that distinction for the first time in years. However, it is also worth noting the number of players that have graduated this year from NC. As such, the state will not be very competitive unless more teams join. I hope to see more great teams start playing and make North Carolina an excellent place for quiz bowl.
Aadit Nerkar
CHS Quiz Bowl, Class of 2019
UNCW, Class of 2023
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by jonathanshauf »

I would second everything Aadit said. I would also like to add South Iredell into the mix. They were a young team and return all of their major scorers. They beat us at regionals, and if they cover up some of their weaknesses, they could be a real contender at states.

Enloe is another team well worth mentioning. They performed well at PACE and return all 3 of their major scorers. I know little about this team, but if they get to more tournaments they will be scary.

Providence will be interesting this year. Samanyu is one of the best geography players in the country, and he is working hard to branch out to get a solid base as well. Anthony is also a skilled history player. They definitely have some firepower, and if they cover some of the other areas they could definitely be in the conversation as well.

Also, despite the huge hits RC and ECG take, I expect them to probably be the best teams in the state aside from ECH, due to their good coaching and well established programs.

In general, it definitely looks like our state will take a hit this year. Last year, we had 5 teams in HSNCT playoffs, I expect that number to drop to 3 or 4 this year. I would love to be proven wrong, however.
Jonathan Shauf
TJ Classical 2020
UNC Chapel Hill
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by esmitchell »

I agree with everything so far mentioned, and would also like to shout out Panther Creek, who retain at least 3 members of their A team (possibly all four but I am unsure about this). They ran us close at Brain Game and should build off a great year with the knowledge to be one of the stronger teams in NC.

I do expect NCSSM to challenge for the top spot in the state this year, Kevin seems like a very strong player (possibly the best history player in the state this year) and could lead a very good team depending on the recruited juniors, especially as they could likely find great science coverage due to the school's focus on it.

Chapel Hill hasn't been the most active team in the past few years but they always put on strong performances when they do attend. While they graduate Robin who's been a mainstay on their team for years, they could gain some Smith freshmen who could help, combined with still being a younger-skewing team means they could pull off some great performances.

Also I feel that we are being a little overrated going into this year. Benjamin is an incredibly talented player with strong knowledge in most areas of the distribution, but we are a very history focused team this year and have lacked a true science player for several years now. Barring good recruiting, this could happen again, especially as I'm told our incoming Smith freshmen are also history focused; I could be wrong about this though. Also we always end up underperforming in tournaments as we historically can rarely pull our whole A team together in the regular season.

I definitely think our state will take somewhat of a hit this year, but it seems only temporary as there are a lot of strong underclassmen players coming up who could improve our relative standing in the coming years.
Ewan Mitchell
East Chapel Hill '20
NC State '24
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by jaguar19 »

I agree with the points that Jonathan and Ewan have made. Another note about Guilford is that apparently Coach Smith is leaving, so this could also have a significant effect on the team's standing. Right now, it seems unlikely that they will host their annual Quaker Bowl in the fall.

One thing that I've come to realize about NC quiz bowl is that the talent is heavily concentrated to particular areas of the state. Outside the Triangle and Triad, the best (and only consistent) team is TJ Classical. There are only a few teams in the western part of NC, and they compete very sporadically. Meanwhile, there are virtually no teams in the eastern part. Even in the Triangle and Triad, there are not as many teams as one might expect. For instance, NCSSM is the only school in Durham that has a quiz bowl program. The bottom line is, for a state the size of NC, one would expect more teams.

I'll be attending UNCW in the fall. Once I get there, I will try to get involved with quiz bowl outreach to the schools in the Wilmington area. As I mentioned in my previous post, I hope to see schools that haven't had a team in the past get involved and for less consistent teams to compete in more tournaments.
Aadit Nerkar
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UNCW, Class of 2023
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by jonathanshauf »

I agree, although it seems the Charlotte circuit is taking some slow steps forward. Myers Park has been active in recent years, South Iredell is becoming serious, and at least one player at Providence (Samanyu) is interested in taking quizbowl more seriously. Good luck in that Aadit, that sounds like a great idea, as Wilmington is a region that seems fairly bereft of quizbowl.
Jonathan Shauf
TJ Classical 2020
UNC Chapel Hill
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by bkmcavoybickford »

Seeing all that has been posted in this thread, I have to say that I agree with almost all of it, and I will add to it with some thoughts of my own. Teams are loosely organized by geographical area in order to highlight the very correct statement that teams in NC are heavily clustered in certain areas.

Brunswick County Early College (either Bolivia or Supply, I can't tell) went to HSNCT for what seems to be their first time ever, and returns a good deal of their A team. This bodes well for their continued participation in NC quizbowl, and perhaps coming to more tournaments.

Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount) seemed to be a quite good team, but I've only played them on a trash round. I'm not able to find much of anything about their team or who it graduates, so I can only hope that they go to more tournaments this year.

Johnston County Early College (Smithfield) has also been going to many tournaments recently, and looks to be rapidly improving. I'm not exactly quite sure what their various players cover or who returns for this coming year, but hopefully they can build on their progress.

Enloe (Raleigh) did very impressively as the only NC team to attend PACE this year, to my knowledge. They return 2/3 of their A team, which I think includes both Chinmay and Subhag, who combine to dominate history, and the team as a whole can cover all categories with some ability, though I'm not sure who covers what or who will make up their A team this coming year. They are very likely to be one of the top NHBB teams, and I would not be surprised if they are one of the best quiz bowl teams also

Raleigh Charter (Raleigh) should remain one of the upper-echelon teams in this state going forward. They return only Ekartha and Michael from their HSNCT team, but they have consistently had a large and well-coached program and should have little trouble changing their A team. They also consistently host tournaments in North Carolina.

Panther Creek (Cary) should return a large number of good players, at least according to other posts in this thread. I don't believe I've ever actually played them (or Raleigh Charter, for that matter), so I can't really add anything more to what is known about them, but I feel that I should mention them anyways because they are a good quiz bowl team in NC.

NCSSM (Durham) has been a very good program for many years in NC, and it seems that they should continue to be very good. Kevin is an intimidating history player, and I would think that NCSSM should get more good players, as they get students from all over the state.

East Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill) is my own program. As Ewan earlier said, we are overrated. Ewan also overrates me; I have almost no science, literature, or trash coverage, and my coverage of anything else is very patchy, though I hope to work on that. The incoming freshmen from Smith were very impressive in middle school, and I would hope that they adjust to questions with high school difficulty. Ewan is also a quite impressive pop culture player, in addition to his coverage of literature and history. This gives us a very long list of history players, but not much else. At least last year, our team was prone to being very erratic, and our minimal science coverage should only accentuate that.

Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, unsurprisingly enough) did not attend many tournaments last year, as already noted, but, when they attended, they did fairly well. They also will likely get some incoming players from Smith, which could help bolster their turnout. Sam is a quite good player and he can cover all areas of the distribution in some ability.

Carrboro (Carrboro) does graduate its whole A team from HSNCT, but hopefully should get some more players, especially as they are the third likely destination for Smith freshmen. It would be impressive if they can remain as good as they were this last year, but it's definitely possible- Aadit definitely has a much better idea of if that will happen than me.

Early College at Guilford (Greensboro) was clearly the best team in NC last year, but other posters in this thread have raised doubt about their ability to continue as a good team. Trisha will return from their A team, in addition to Rahul, Kiran, and some other players. Based on what I have seen of non-graduating Guilford players this last year, they should have very good and general coverage of the whole distribution, though it would be a surprise if they had the same point production minus Derek and Ridge, both of whom were very good at their respective categories.

Piedmont Classical (Browns Summit) also attended HSNCT, and they return 2 players from their A team. It looks like they might get some of the Browns Summit former middle school players, but I'm not really sure of that, and I can't really find out anything else about their program.

Atkins (Winston-Salem) was a surprisingly good team this last year at both States and HSNCT, but they do only return 1 member from their A team. I've never played them and so can't really speak to their success.

Richmond Senior (Rockingham) is an exception to the clustering of NC teams in the major metropolitan areas, especially the Triangle. They improved immensely last year, and were a consistent presence at tournaments. I'm not really sure who they graduate, but if they can return some of their players, they could build on their good performance last year. Trey and Adam, who I think mostly did history and literature respectively, both demonstrated wide knowledge of the quiz bowl distribution. They seemed to be very strong on bonuses especially when I played them.

Providence (Charlotte) sent two teams to HSNCT and both performed quite impressively. They return 3/4 of their A team, including Samanyu, who was a very impressive player in middle school, and the stats indicate he has continued his performance in high school. Otherwise, I can't really say much about them.

South Iredell (Statesville) seems to have improved recently. Quite a few of their players gained experience on the very good Mount Mourne middle school teams of past years, which should help them continue to improve. Other people have correctly mentioned them as an example of the forward progress of the Charlotte circuit.

Myers Park (Charlotte) returns 3 players from their HSNCT team, though that is out of 9 players they sent. I would not be surprised if they continued to improve and continue being one of the best teams in the Charlotte subcircuit.

Chase (Forest City) returns all 8 of their players from their HSNCT team. This number of returning players should help them improve, though, unfortunately, I can't really tell you much more than that.

Lincolnton (yes, in Lincolnton) graduates their whole HSNCT A team, but could still become one of the better teams in North Carolina. I don't really know much more about them, but hopefully at least mentioning them will spur any useful discussion of them.

Christ School (Arden) returns half their SSNCT team, and the statistics from their performances indicate that they have been consistently improving their performances.

Thomas Jefferson Classical (Mooresboro) returns half their HSNCT A team, including Jonathan, who is quite a good player. I'm not entirely sure of the rest of their team's coverage, but it seems like they should be able to be one of the top teams in NC this year.

I mentioned 7 teams from the Triangle, 4 from Western NC, 3 each from the Triad, Eastern NC, and the Charlotte area, and 1 team from Rockingham, which I'm not exactly sure where that fits. That should help indicate the geographic distribution of teams in NC, until I or somebody else gets around to making or finding a map.

My apologies if there are any errors in this post, or teams I did not cover. Please point them out to me.

In short, teams are very much in certain areas, especially the Triangle; I know far more about East than I do about other teams; I know far less about teams in Western NC; HSNCT statistics are easy to find and compare; I don't really know who will be the top team in NC this year, though any predictions of East being in front are overly optimistic.
Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford. Smith 15-18. East Chapel Hill 18-?
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by biofanat »

I would also like to add a few points of consideration to this conversation as I am one of the rising freshmen from Smith Middle School. I do not know much about the current High School situation but I would like to add a few points.

1. Playing with BMB myself in the past, he is an incredibly talented player and has more or less some form of capabilities in all areas of the distribution; I believe that he can really prove to be one of the best players in NC and in the nation and help East do decently well.

2. Although Smith's science specialist Luke Chen is moving away to Kansas, myself (Bo) and Michael Dai, another incoming freshman to East, have varying levels of science capabilities and should be able to hopefully make up for some of the shortfalls in East Science. In addition, Krishna, our highest scorer this year, will be also coming to East in 2 years (he's a rising 8th grader)

I have not seen many of the other schools compete yet but I am optimistic about East's chances to succeed next year
Last edited by biofanat on Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Bo Chi
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by biofanat »

Also Ewan, no experienced freshmen are playing for Chapel Hill next year because Yichen's abandoning quiz bowl for running. Numerous freshmen have stated interest in playing, but none are confirmed yet
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by bkmcavoybickford »

biofanat wrote: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:07 pm I would also like to add a few points of consideration to this conversation as I am one of the rising freshmen from Smith Middle School. I do not know much about the current High School situation but I would like to add a few points.

1. Playing with BMB myself in the past, he is an incredibly talented player and has more or less some form of capabilities in all areas of the distribution; I believe that he can really prove to be one of the best players in NC and in the nation and help East do decently well.

2. Although Smith's science specialist Luke Chen is moving away to Kansas, myself (Bo) and Michael Dai, another incoming freshman to East, have varying levels of science capabilities and should be able to hopefully make up for some of the shortfalls in East Science. In addition, Krishna, our highest scorer this year, will be also coming to East in 2 years (he's a rising 7th grader)

I have not seen many of the other schools compete yet but I am optimistic about East's chances to succeed next year
I'm pretty sure Krishna's an eighth grader this year.
Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford. Smith 15-18. East Chapel Hill 18-?
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by biofanat »

Whoops thanks for correcting me; yeah he's a rising 8th grader
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Re: 2019-20 NC Discussion

Post by bkmcavoybickford »

Since it's the winter break for North Carolina quiz bowl, I thought I would post some of my thoughts about who the best teams in NC are right now. One caveat: NC has only had a few tournaments this year so far.

NCSSM looks to be the top candidate for the best team in NC this year, and criminally underrated on a national scale. Kevin Liu is a strong history-based generalist, and the rest of his teammates contribute valuable points in their respective subject areas. However, since they don't seem to have played more than Bonfire of the Manatees, it's hard to tell who will be their other players. They're probably the favorite to win the state tournament, over Raleigh Charter

East Chapel Hill, my school, has played well so far but has not lived up to the expectations accorded us by many of the early comments in this discussion. Thankfully, I do have a strong idea of who plays for this team. Ewan Mitchell is a great pop culture player who's not bad at all at literature, and freshman Bo Chi has developed into a great science player with generalist knowledge. I fill in the various gaps as a generalist, though geography is probably my strongest area. We've gone to more tournaments, but we've had quite a few losses at them, to high school teams Raleigh Charter and NCSSM in addition to some college teams at UNC EFT. This demonstrates our long-running problem with being consistent, though we have at least improved that other long-running problem of ours, science since last year.

Raleigh Charter has been a consistently good team this year. Michael has developed into a strong generalist, while Ekartha continues to be a great science-based player, though he covers more than just science. Their team has always been deep, to my knowledge, and I've seen nothing to indicate that this year is an exception.

Enloe finished fourth in the top bracket at Raleigh Charter, and should be able to get that place or better at most NC tournaments. Sophomore Chinmay Talizoti and senior Subhag Kotrannavar will probably be a strong duo for the NC circuit, seeing as that Raleigh Charter performance came without Subhag. From what I can tell, both do history and Enloe is generally particularly strong at history, but their ability in other categories, especially science, is not lacking.

Thomas Jefferson Classical has been one of the only Western NC teams to play tournaments this year, and they look to be one of the strongest ones from that side of the state. Jonathan Shauf leads their team as a literature and philosophy player, but gets strong support from Cole Powell and Dominik Mystkowski, among others. They won a SC tournament called the Carlanna Hendrick Memorial, but failed to make either of the top two brackets at Raleigh Charter, which makes me somewhat confused about how they stack up.

Early College at Guilford rounds out the top 6 teams in NC, as far as I know. They may have lost Tejas, Ridge, and Derek, but they still have some quite good players. Rahul Jakati and Trisha Santanam lead their team in scoring, and they seem to have a consistent core of players who come to tournaments, given as they have brought a B team to every tournament they have attended this year.

Overall, NC seems to have no one dominant team, but also a fairly clearly defined top group, though I would expect it to get muddier as more teams begin to play. Few teams from Western NC, including Charlotte, have played tournaments yet, and even teams from the Triangle/Triad often haven't brought out their full lineups. I'd expect this neat picture to get some shaking up as the season goes on. I've also noted that more out-of-state teams are coming down to play NC tournaments, and putting up impressive performances. Congratulations to Russell for winning Bonfire of the Manatees, and congratulations to all the other out-of-state teams who have made these tournaments more competitive.

There are certainly a lot of teams I haven't mentioned on here; it seems foolish to mention every team when so few have played, which is why I have constrained my commentary to the top teams. However, a lot of other teams have put up good showings, including Panther Creek, Brunswick County EC, Middle Creek, and Providence Day, Atkins, East Mecklenburg, Rocky Mount, and High Point Central.

Good luck to all of you all in future tournaments.

EDIT: Fixed a few typos with people's names
Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford. Smith 15-18. East Chapel Hill 18-?
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