The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

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The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by The Grand Inquisitor » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:32 am

With the new season just around the corner, this seems like an appropriate time to talk about quizbowl past. Especially Minnesota quizbowl past. So here is your definitive list of the TEN GREATEST MINNESOTA HIGH SCHOOL QUIZBOWLERS...OF ALL TIME.

1) Michael Wright, Eden Prairie (years considered: 2006-2008)

One of three excellent players on the 2006-2007 Eden Prairie team that was probably the best in state history. He then made such strides as an individual player that the 2007-2008 EP team was nearly as good, if not better. Was one of the best players on two top-15 HSNCT teams and one top-bracket PACE NSC team. Michael is the best humanities player that the state has ever seen, and its greatest winner. Nearly unstoppable on literature, geography, European history, and Avenue Q-related questions.

2) Brendan Byrne, Mounds Park Academy (years considered: 2004-2006)

Singlehandedly led Mounds Park to a 10th place finish, the highest that a Minnesota team has ever finished at HSNCT. Is the only Minnesotan to lead HSNCT in points per game. Most powers (19) by a Minnesota player at HSNCT. Achievements somewhat diminished by the fact that he rarely (if ever) beat his main rival, the very competent 2005-2006 Chaska team, which may have finished in the top five at HSNCT had they gone, and by the fact that there was less competition in 2006 than in the subsequent years. Still, he was a force to be reckoned with on geography, literature, and history, and has gone on to become the most decorated and talented college player to come out of Minnesota's high schools.

3) Trevor Davis, Eden Prairie (years considered: 2005-2007)

Lead scorer on back-to-back NAQT state championship teams. 13 powers and top team PPG while leading his team to 13th at the 2007 HSNCT. Rivals Andrew Hart as the best figure-it-outer in Minnesota HS history, and definitely its most prolific ancient history player and negger. Fantastic NAQT player and one of the most talented connoisseurs of stock clues in recent memory.

4) Sam Peterson, Chaska (years considered: 2006-present)

A terrific quizbowl player, though he doesn't really lock down one area in particular. Has a good idea of when to guess and when to wait. Leads tournaments in scoring not only because he knows lots of answers, but because has lots of good early-clue knowledge too. Only Brendan and Andreas Stoehr have finished above Sam in individual ranking at HSNCT, and Andreas didn't play the quality teams that Chaska did. 14 powers is the second-most in MN HSNCT history, and he'll be gunning for the record next year, since he was just a junior. Will likely be at the top of this list after next year if he continues to work.

5) Rob Carson, Chaska (years considered: 2004-2006)

Of course, we all know that Rob has become an excellent college player. But before those days, he was the #1 scorer on the first truly elite team in Minnesota history, the 05-06 Chaska squad. By far the best mythology player in MN HS QB history; that's not even close. One of the most dedicated players too. Rob had a ton of eccentric general knowledge and lots of conviction with the buzzer. A big-game player, he never let up in close matches against St. Thomas or Mounds Park. Was probably the MVP of Chip's DC tournament and just might have become a HALL OF FAMER had Chaska taken down whatever that New York team was in the Chip finals. One of the great travesties in the history of MN HS QB is that his best year was wasted on Chip, because he was poised to lead a team to a top-five finish at HSNCT.

6) Gautam Kandlikar, Eden Prairie (years considered: 2004-2007)

A fantastic science player and NAQT stock clue compiler whose specialty was powering lots of tossups. Didn't go to PACE NSC, which likely cost EP a chance to contend for a top-three spot. No doubt the best pure science player in state history. Along with Davis and Wright, one of the best three-party in state history; he was a major part in EP's surprising state championship in 2006 and crucial to their unprecedented victory streak in 2007.

7) Andrew Guyton, Chaska (years considered: 2001-2006)

Legend has it that Andrew Guyton was a varsity quizbowler in eighth grade. The game came just as naturally to him as it did to the tweedle dee to his tweedle dum, Rob Carson, though Rob played for only two (or maybe three) years. Guyton was clearly the second-best player on the good Chaska teams that finished second in state twice, and he nearly flew solo to a NAQT state championship in 2006 when Hart and Carson were at Science Bowl. Probably the best religion player in state history, and no doubt one of its top music and literature competitors too. Another potential HALL OF FAMER.

8) Jack Boyle/Josh Mollner, St. Thomas Academy (years considered: 2004-2006)

It's hard to separate these two. Boyle and Mollner were like brown- and blonde-haired sides of a crew-cut coin. With Tom Sullivan, they were constant antagonists to a Chaska team that always seemed better but managed to lose state championship games. Were the top two scorers on a 16th place HSNCT team in 2006. It's hard to say what they knew, but they were very smart players and had lots of the requisite quizbowl-derived knowledge needed to succeed.

9) Igor Luzhansky, Eden Prairie (years considered: 2006-2008)

As second fiddle to the always-impressive Michael Wright, Igor didn't always get due credit as one of the best players in the state. Knew pretty hard science even as a junior. Picked up intense mythology knowledge along the way. And was good for the occasional deep-knowledge buzz in haphazard areas. Also had a whacky personality that made all of the games interesting.

10) Andrew Hart, Chaska (years considered: 2004-2006)

Late bloomer. Didn't lock down any one area, but had all sorts of haphazard knowledge that made him a great complement to Carson and Guyton as a #3 player. Only elite skill was figuring it out. Also knew some really unexpected hard stuff. Played best in big games, and played a lot of big games down the stretch in 2006. Probably a better knowledge bowl player than a quizbowl player in high school. Also an extremely hard worker; could have been a lot better if he had found good questions sooner.

Honorable Mention: Alex Friedman, Minnetonka (years considered: 2005-present)

Freak of nature on NAQT pet topics like geography, current events, world politics, and stuff like that. Also a pretty good history player. Has never really improved in other areas of the game, but when paired with someone who knows lit or science pretty well, he's dangerous on NAQT. Also holds MN records for highest individual finish as a freshman and sophomore at HSNCT. Still a junior, so he will likely eclipse a few on this list next year, especially if he ever decides to work on getting better at other areas.

Honorable Mention: Tom Sullivan, St. Thomas (years considered: 2005-2007)

Solid player, pretty similar to Hart in high school. Scary because he could know anything, but never put up the PPG you'd expect. Was a #1 player on a pretty solid 2006/07 St. Thomas team after being the third to Boyle/Mollner in 05/06. Played his best against Chaska in championship games.

Honorable Mention: Tim Youker, Chaska (years considered: circa 2000)

Semi-legendary player who apparently locked down music. Was at the center of a huge Chip controversy involving some team from Texas. Records of his actual performance burned in the library of Alexandria.

Honorable Mention: Andreas Stoehr, Mound Westonka (years considered: 2005-2007)

Probably the least impressive player in recent memory to score in the top ten PPG at HSNCT. I guess he knew some literature in high school, but he never had teammates and his team was always middling. His scoring benefited from crappy teammates and mostly bad competition. A pretty good player, just not as good as his PPG might indicate.

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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by sam.peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:01 am

This is humorous.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Gautam » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:48 am

Oh dear.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:16 pm

So, we learned today that there were only two good quiz bowlers in Minnesota prior to 2004.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:23 pm

Wasn't Michael Wright on a 7th place team at HSNCT this year, contrary to the assertion that Mounds Park is the only top 10 team?
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:33 pm

leftsaidfred wrote:So, we learned today that there were only two good quiz bowlers in Minnesota prior to 2004.
This isn't all that off the mark, actually. Nearly every academic competition in the state before circa 2003-2004 was held on awful questions or was Knowledge Bowl (awful questions and an awful format).
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by sam.peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:00 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:Wasn't Michael Wright on a 7th place team at HSNCT this year, contrary to the assertion that Mounds Park is the only top 10 team?
Yeah, I also don't have the "second-most [powers] in MN HSNCT history" as Michael had 16 this year and Brendan had 19 a few years ago.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by sam.peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:01 pm

Would the author of this tract care to reveal himself?
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Auroni » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:33 pm

sam.peterson wrote:Would the author of this tract care to reveal himself?
hope it's not sean skaar
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by theMoMA » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:12 pm

The IP is from...Chicago?

Anyway, this seems like a pretty fair assessment from my recollection of things, random factual errors aside. It also seems to be written by someone with good knowledge of Chaska/EP.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Strongside » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:32 pm

Interesting list. As for the lack of quiz bowlers prior to 2004, the problem is that there were no NAQT meets or pyramidal questions (at least none that I knew of) before October of 2003. Before then, no individual stats were kept, and team records might be spotty, and are either difficult to find, or almost non-existent.

http://www.naqt.com/mqba/league/history.html

and

http://www.district112.org/chs/Activiti ... emicTeams/

is the best I can find. There were probably pretty good quiz bowlers, who would have been better if exposed to better questions in their high school days.

Two people who I thought should have been on the list were Sean Litsey (Minnetonka) and James Bernhardus (St. Anthony). Minnetonka didn't make the playoffs at HSNCT in 2006, and St. Anthony did not do much NAQT, so that probably hurt them. I would have Alex Friedman ranked higher, and I would have Tom Sullivan over Jack Boyle, and Jack Boyle over Josh Mollner. Andrew Guyton, Andrew Hart, and Rob Carson likely could have been ranked higher if they had played more NAQT tournaments as well.

I enjoyed reading this list, and I agree it is difficult to do this accurately.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by theMoMA » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:42 pm

A point of interest: Sean Litsey is my cousin.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by Canadajin » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:03 pm

How does this person know all of this stuff, namely the seemingly anecdotal information?
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by wowitsquinthaha » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:49 pm

MITU RAMGOPAL??????
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by theattachment » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:51 am

Haha lolz incorrect probably intentionally wonky list lolz

In all seriousness, this list is kind of decent and contains good analyses of the players. I just think the list is really out of order. I list Sam Peterson as the future of quiz bowl all the time, but him above Rob before he's played his senior season? Not really. Trevor in front of people in general? Neg five. Michael in front of Brendan? Brendan's the only one-man team in Minnesota history to have ever done notably well at HSNCT... oh yeah, and he's the only person from Minnesota EVER to top score there.

But the worst travesty of all?

TONY LEUNG ISN'T AT LEAST SIXTH.
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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by BigDaddyGunz » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:03 pm

Jack Boyle and Josh Mollner are actually two different people

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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by boylermaker » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:11 pm

Couple of thoughts for you:
-Huge snub of Sean Litsey. Sure, he never took off his Yale sweatshirt, he had much better teammates than Brendan Byrne's flavors of the day, but I think I can speak for the whole STA team of that era when I say that Minnetonka ca. 2004-6 was the team we feared most to face (indeed, Minnetonka was the only team to beat us in a round twice during the 04-05 season), and 90% of that was him. Without a doubt the number 2 individual player as of May 2006, I find it hard to believe that he's fallen even off the HM list in the past two years.

-No one from the Ellen/Meredith era of Chaska history? Possibly that was before your time, but no one who faced them forgot the team that gave you hug, then destroyed you. Sure, they mostly played Knowledge Bowl, and NAQT was badly run/non-existent in their day, but surely they deserve inclusion in a list that is already stocked with Chaska players whose accomplishments are mainly in the realm of the hypothetical.

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Re: The Definitive Greatest Minnesota High School Quiz Bowlers

Post by BigDaddyGunz » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:19 pm

I'd put Josh Mollner waayyyyy lower on this list. That guy sucked.

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