Every year, 132 teams from public and private schools around Massachusetts travel to the WGBH studios in Boston to compete in the Super Sunday competition.
Super Sunday is the qualifying round for the high school Quiz Bowl competition. Teams that qualify on Super Sunday move on to the much more competitive televised High School Quiz Show matches. Each team consists of four team members, two alternates, and two coaches. This year, the Nantucket High School team consisted of seniors Evan Borzilleri and Sophie Kuhl, and juniors Luci Bresette and Deana-Rae Weatherly. Alternates were seniors Harrison Holdgate and Grace Bartlett. This years coaches were Spanish teacher Kate Hickson and History teacher Peter Panchy.
Super Sunday is a staple of the High School Quiz Show, and the team looks forward to traveling up to Boston every year to compete. “It is rad,” said Kuhl.
On the day of the competition, there were four time slots with 33 schools in each slot. Each team was escorted to a room in the WGBH building where members answered 100 questions in 10 different categories. Team members noted that, as the questions progressed so did the point values. At the end of the day, each student was given a gift bag sponsored by Harvard University. Scores were released one week later and 16 qualifying teams were announced. These teams go onto to the televised segment; the remaining 126 schools are given no knowledge of where they placed in the standings.
To prepare for this competition, the Nantucket team practiced once a week in sessions designed to simulate the actual competition. Team members sat in front of two moderators and were given a topic. The questions were asked and the student was given five seconds to answer each question. The student was permitted to communicate with other team members and had to answer the question within five seconds. After that time, only one person was permitted to respond.
Despite many hours of training - and plenty of fun - the NHS Quiz Bowl team did not qualify this year. Out of a possible 1000 points, the team scored 760 points, although received perfect scores in History, Art, and Literature. The top 16 schools included fan favorites Acton-Boxborough, Advanced Math & Science, Belmont, Lexington, and Newton North.
Regardless of not qualifying, team members are proud of their hard work and success. “I'm happy with our performance, and I hope the team continues to be strong,” said Borzilleri. The team is hopeful, and looks to attract more underclassmen and be the best it can be in future years.
Up next for the Quiz Bowl team is to face the Nantucket School Committee in January. The team also plans to host its own school wide tournament later in the year.