Burnsville High School Quiz Bowl tied for 41st place at its fourth consecutive National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) High School National Championship in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend.
A Team pictured from left; Les Moffitt, Blake Andert, Connor Van Dorpe, Nick Schatz and Justin Jasperse (alternate player). Not pictured is Matthew Fischer.
B team pictured from left; Trang Truong, Spencer Robinson, Bailey Pekar, Justin Jasperse and Griffin Rozek.
C team pictured from left; Connor Hume, Alyssa Ford, Kit Chow and Joe Schatz. Not pictured is Chance Persons.
Two BHS teams qualified to participate in the championship and the school was awarded a third team when another qualifier dropped out of the event. Out of 304 teams competing, Burnsville A finished in a tie for 41st place with Wayzata A, the highest finish for any school in the state. Burnsville B finished in 232nd and Burnsville C finished 283rd.
On the first day of playoffs, Burnsville A finished 6-4, moving on to the second round for the second straight year. The team earned a bye in the first round for having one of the highest points per match. In the second round of playoffs, Burnsville faced Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s C Team from Virginia. Burnsville A defeated Thomas Jefferson C 260-165, advancing to the third round of playoffs. In the third round, Burnsville faced Homestead High School from California. Homestead defeated and eliminated Burnsville 360-225. Ultimately, Homestead finished in a tie for 9th place in the tournament.
Burnsville’s A Team was comprised of seniors Blake Andert and Connor Van Dorpe, and juniors Matthew Fischer and Nick Schatz.
Burnsville B finished 4-6, their best performance at a national championship meet. The B team was comprised of seniors Spencer Robinson, Griffin Rozek and Trang Truong, and juniors Justin Jasperse and Bailey Pekar.
Burnsville C finished 3-7, tying their best performance, which occurred the prior year. Seniors Kit Chow, Alyssa Ford and Connor Hume, ninth grader Chance Persons, and eighth grader Joe Schatz competed on the C Team.
Nearly 1,500 students participated in the tournament. According to NAQT statistics, Burnsville players to finish in the top half of tournament scorers include Justin Jasperse (197th place), Blake Andert (242), Trang Truong (381), Matthew Fischer and Nick Schatz (450), Connor Van Dorpe (558), Connor Hume (634) and Kit Chow (697).
Each of the four years it has qualified, Burnsville has improved on its’ performance at the national championship.
Les Moffitt, quiz bowl coach, hopes that Burnsville will continue the strong tradition it has created and improve its overall finish again next year.
“Our current group of seniors is really a special group,” Moffitt said after the championship tournament. “We are losing a number of very good players and a lot of team depth that we will have to work to replace. It is certainly tough to see them leave.”
Moffitt also noted that he is exceptionally proud of the “family atmosphere” that has developed within the program.
“The kids really get along with well with each other,” he said. “They hang out together in and outside of school. They care about their teammates and have created a culture of excellence and learning.”
Quiz Bowl is a competitive activity where teams of four compete to answer questions as quickly as possible. Question topics range across a number of subjects, including pop culture, arts, music, geography, history, math, science and literature. Teams can qualify for the national championship by finishing in the top fifteen percent of most tournaments during the season.
Complete tournament results can be found at www.NAQT.com.