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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 607
Location: Delaware, Ohio
Copied and pasted from the General Announcements because of reference:

Only posting this in General Announcements because I don't know how often people peruse the bottom of the front page.

The 2016-2017 season is coming to a close, so lets take a look at the Central Ohio picture as it relates to quiz bowl and its growth.

In general, it appears that Columbus and the areas surrounding are experiencing more quiz bowl activity than it did a few years ago; certainly more than five years ago. It does appear though, however, that the growth is a bit slower than expected; additionally, it seems to be that the growth comes is spots and spurts (instead of five new schools playing 2-3 events a year for more than a year or two, there's like 15 schools playing 1-2 events a year but then will stop.)

I'll break down the state of quiz bowl for each of the counties that border Franklin County, as well as Franklin County. I'll have eight breakdowns written; you may be reading this and thinking "well only six counties touch Franklin, so 6 + 1 =/=8," because there is a massive amount of schooling systems and secondary schools in Franklin, I'm going to specifically write a breakdown for Franklin County's public schools and Franklin County's private schools. For the districts that have more than one high school, I'll write a general comment on the district and delve into each specific high school.

Delaware County
Big Walnut: Newcomer onto the Central Ohio quizbowl scene, they attended events at I believe Chillicothe and Olentangy Liberty this past season. It's a little small to be thought of as a "big school", but its also way too big to be a small school. It would be good to see them continue attending tournaments. Looks like they're joining Northeast In the Know League next year.

Buckeye Valley: They hadn't been to any events up until a few years ago, namely the events at Olentangy Liberty. However, I have not heard much about them lately. I wonder if they have the same coach that they did when they attended tournaments.

Delaware Christian: Not active. This is a really small school that graduates less than thirty students a year. I don't have that much to say about them right here, but... I do have some insight on what could possibly be done to get schools in their particular situation interested in playing quizbowl.

Delaware Hayes: They used to go to iterations of the Tippecanoe Academic Challenge five or so years ago. As far as I know, they have a club that participates in local league.

Olentangy (Local Schools): Olentangy HS (referred to on 'In the Know' as "The Olentangy") has attended OAC Regionals several times in the recent few years, including 2016 and 2017 iterations. I really don't know 'what the deal is' with their program, because they certainly do have the talent and the resources to be a consistently good team. They had attended one of the last few iterations of the BRAVE Falcon tournament at Bowling Green (RIP), but I'm led to believe the school's attendance at those events were under a previous coach. Olentangy Orange, as is the case with Olentangy HS, plays in a local league that runs on Questions Unlimited products. They also do 'In the Know', so they're not a completely dead program. Olentangy Liberty is obviously the school that plays the most quizbowl out of anyone in their district, so not a whole lot to touch there. The interesting thing with the Olentangy district is that Olentangy Berlin High School (aka 'the new high school') opens in 2018. I'm not entirely sure what effect, if any, that will have on quiz bowl (might be unlikely to see kids that play middle school QB at Hyatts to get redistricted to Berlin, because Hyatts is far west of U.S. 23, whereas Berlin will be to the east of U.S. 23. I guess it may be possible, though, for some Hyatts students to get redistricted to Olentangy HS?) And... as a side note... one of the Olentangy middle schools (it wasn't Hyatts nor Liberty, I think it was Berkshire... or Shanahan?) hosted the Columbus regional final for Middle School History Bee earlier in 2017.

In sum: county that has a lot of quiz bowl potential that is growing, but some schools that definitely should try some Saturday events appear reluctant to do so.

Fairfield County
Amanda-Clearcreek: they only do MSL. Their program has been cut recently, brought back but only for it to possibly get cut again in the future (out of budget concerns.) Small, really spread out district where sports and FFA are two things valued highly in the community. Would like to see AC play more, but I also realize that them being able to support a team at all may be a challenge at times.

Berne Union: pretty small school, does have a good academic reputation among the area public schools. Only does MSL, and I think they're one of the schools that will probably have a coaching change once every three or four years. Like Amanda, sports and FFA rule the roost.

Bloom-Carroll: of all the rural Fairfield County schools, BC would probably the most likely to start getting in on Saturday events. They have brand-new facilities across the district, has good academics, is experiencing a little bit of growth, and they make a point of what they can offer from an extracurricular perspective; some other schools may not really much in the way of resources (or drive) to get into competitive extracurriculars that aren't sports, but I think BC does. The really interesting thing with this district is they're open-enrollment, so where I think they have an incentive to get into circuit quizbowl and make it an active program is the fact they can use it as a reputation boost on the academics side. Right now they only do MSL, but have done OAC Regionals before.

Fairfield Christian: of all the schools in MSL that I had contact info for when I was sending out information for OAC Fall, that wasn't Fisher, FCA was the only one to write back to me. They were interested in my event, if not for the fact several of their players were also running in the Cross-Country state tournament that day. The indication I sort of get is they want to play OAC, or a format that allows for teamwork. They played at the Golden Shamrock often, and are at St. Charles sometimes. Really an enjoyable program to read for when I'm doing MSL. They've played OAC Regionals multiple times, making it to round four or five (with one loss carried into those games) often.

Fairfield Union: in MSL, and they did play in the Golden Shamrock a couple times when I was in high school. However, I'm pretty sure FU is one of the schools where the coaching duties have changed hands more than I change my signature on here (I could be wrong here, but I'm sure it has changed at least twice since I was a senior in high school.) Another really rural, spread out district. I wouldn't necessarily write them off as 'oh, they'll never play quizbowl'... but if my survival depended on me correctly picking a Fairfield County school that would start playing Saturday events once or twice a year, I would probably not pick them.

Fisher: they play quizbowl.

Lancaster: they used to be a very active program back in the day; they are sorely missed, truly. Fisher's now-defunct Golden Shamrock tournament was called such because of the tournament's origins, which date back to LHS' involvement. Shamrock, obviously, stems from Fisher being the Fighting Irish; Golden stems from Lancaster being the Golden Gales (yes, like the winds.) I may have a detail slightly incorrect here, but my understanding was Lancaster hosted the original event in 1994(?) with Stevenson helping run it (I'm sure Mike is reading this and twiddling his thumbs, pondering how he'll roast me for getting this story, which has been explained to me at least five times, wrong.).....ANYWAYS, last summer I managed to track down the coach that took them to a few NAQT events in 08 and 09 (he stopped doing the advising role two or three years ago.) By all accounts, a nice gentleman that was informative, but pretty much what I understood was the program deviated away from anything quizbowl related and instead turned into the 'debate team (???).' When he left teaching at Lancaster, the program got passed down to another gentleman; supposedly a nice guy and a great, well-liked teacher, but I'm not sure how interested he'd be in pursuing quizbowl on the weekends seeing as how he's the head varsity baseball coach (which, of course, would take up a lot of his time.) They have been on 'In the Know' and I believe Brain Game in the last two years, though. When I talked to the gentleman that took Lancaster to events, the inference I made was that the traditional academic activities at LHS fell apart around the time he was coaching, so things like debate and mock trial got absorbed, along with a quizbowl, into a single club that picks and chooses what things sound like fun. As far as I know, that's what the current coach inherited.

Liberty Union: Tristan Mooney, who is on Ohio State's academic team, went to Liberty Union. The only way I expect Liberty Union to consider Saturday quizbowl is if Tristan can make an appeal to the coach to come to an event at Ohio State. Outside of that, really not expecting much.

Millersport: does MSL, does Licking County ESC. They used to go to Golden Shamrock, had a few good teams back when the MSL had New Albany in it, and I believe they used to go to St. Charles. But it's just a really small school district that is in a very tough financial situation, I would not expect them to play Saturday quiz bowl.

Pickerington: North does attend a couple tossup/bonus events a year, maybe an OAC event also. Central does not have a team. I do know that, when it comes to Central, they supposedly have a setup where the non-STEM related extracurricular activities - like Lancaster - are put into just one big 'enrichment' club or whatever. The former coach from Lancaster said they'd play Pick Central in debate/whatever the activity was they did.

In sum, county with a lot of different high schools - but so few willing to play Saturday events. The loss of Lancaster from quiz bowl is unfortunate, and it'd be great to see them back.

Franklin public, Franklin private, and Licking coming up next. Will try and get to Madison, Pickaway, and Union later.

Cortney Bird
OQBA co-director
QB Coach @ Olentangy Berlin HS 2018-Present
Statistician @ NE ITK league

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 607
Location: Delaware, Ohio
Part 2 of post:

Franklin County (public)

Bexley - always has great potential to do well at quizbowl. They had an impressive performance, with lack of regular quizbowl play considered, at NAQT States. Third highest PPB in the field. Currently ranked in the top 150 of Fred Morlan's rankings. Don't understand why they don't play more.

Canal Winchester - nothing exists, as far as I know.

Columbus public - not going to write about all of the schools in the district. Only a few do the NAQT league. The only two schools that have any quizbowl playing tradition (excluding Walnut Ridge, whose tradition only lasted during the 1970's and 1980's) are Columbus Alternative and Whetstone. Whetstone used to go to events at Northmont/Wright State, Ohio State, and area OAC events; they've since stopped, unsure why (coaching change? Budget?) Columbus Alternative, which is the Columbus analog of Walnut Hills, often played at events at Ohio State and St. Charles, and they've made the occasional appearance at Olentangy Liberty. I think they've had the same coach the entire time (nice person!) They do that weird 'answer questions online' thing by Question Unlimited, but unlike a lot of their competing counterparts in the Cleveland area, I think they probably do it because its something that can easily be done after school while everyone is together (students attending CAHS can come from all parts and neighborhoods of the city) and less so "oh, lets win something easy." They have a coach that has always appeared to be pretty interested and dedicated to his team's involvement, but they may be hamstringed by lack of resources and budget limits, as I know their building specifically (in terms of attention, maintenance and renovation) gets neglected by the district.

Dublin - Scioto and Jerome obviously play. Coffman will only play an event or two here and there (their coach has an account on this board, for what its worth.) Not much more detail to be said for Dublin.

Gahanna-Lincoln sent three teams to an Olentangy Liberty event once and won a bracket there. Unsure what they've been up to since.

Grandview Heights - I thought at one point Jarret Greene was going to try and get them active, but JG has since moved to Vermont. Small district, but very good academic reputation.

Groveport - sent teams to Waverly (of all places) a few years ago. Something like they had three or four different people that served as co-coaches, as was explained to me back then. Unsure of what they've been up to lately.

Hamilton Township - nothing exists, as far as I know.

Hilliard - Davidson and Bradley, as far as I know, have no programs (anymore.) Have heard that Darby has looked into getting into quizbowl.

New Albany - as best as I know, they have a program that is alive. Their coach is pretty nice, and has always been interested in the game, but from what I understand they have a very unusual and unfortunate budget & financing situation imposed upon them by their district (kids have to pay several hundred dollars just to be on the academic team? Pay-to-play is horrible.) Never understood why their district has such a policy, because the community of New Albany has an affluent image, they have a lot of expensive real estate in their district, and always good academics, but that doesn't mean that every kid can afford pay-to-play (nor should they be forced to in the first place.)

Reynoldsburg - never has had anything to my knowledge. Unsure if they can feasibly get something off of the ground, because they're actually two different high schools located on opposite ends of the district that effectively grants a diploma from a singular 'Reynoldsburg High School.' Maybe Greg would know more about what I'm talking about.

Southwestern City Schools - Grove City is the only one active. Westland has attended St. Charles OAC in the past. Franklin Heights has nothing, to my knowledge. Remains to be seen if Central Crossing will do anything next year or in the future, because I'm not sure if them attending NAQT States is so much the coach being really interested in the game, or if it was Danny Cordary wanting to play a Saturday event (or if it was his dad that wanted them to give it a shot.) Central Crossing is a unique situation, because their best player, who has graduated this year, is the son of a very accomplished 'In the Know' and Jeopardy! contestant (not to mention a pretty well-known politician, if you follow that) so it could be that he got into the game to follow in the footsteps of his dad. Put simply, if CC attends more events in the future - that's great, but if they don't then it should be understandable why not.

Upper Arlington - does one or two small events a year, has done NAQT states multiple times in the past. Should be a lot more active, in my opinion.

Westerville - don't know anything about Central or South, am told that North has a good team in league play.

Whitehall-Yearling - does MSL only. It would be a very good idea, if they go to an event, if they were placed in a JV or novice division.

Worthington - Kilbourne, as far as I know, just does NE ITK. Thomas, its the same deal, but they did attend a Liberty event and won a morning bracket.

In sum, the Franklin County publics have come further in quizbowl than they were five or so years ago, but its one of those 'they'll come in bits or spurts, and whether or not they'll be consistent in attending remains to be seen' deals.

Franklin County (private)

Columbus Academy - used to be active, haven't seen them play in years however. Would be a great school to see active again.

Diocese of Columbus - St. Charles obviously plays. Ready is the one that has the next-most miles under their belt, but still not a very active program. Hartley would be the third-most active in recent history, but again, not much there. Hartley would attend, and I believe Ready would also, the Golden Shamrock and St. Charles OAC. After that, barely anything. DeSales and Watterson have been in the NE In the Know League forever, but have never done Saturday events.

Harvest Prep - never had a team for the longest time, but started one up two or three years ago. Became pretty active, pretty quick - which is surprising seeing as how small the school is and how nothing existed previously before their current coach came along.

all of the tiny Christian schools - only Tree of Life is active, but they're a peculiar case - they went to Smithville and Mason (and maybe St. Charles OAC?) but nothing (else) in the Columbus area. Gahanna, Madison, Patriot Prep, and Northside may all be too small to even consider making a team worth their while.

Grove City Christian - nothing exists, but they're a 'growing' private school that has a reputation for academics and athletics.

Oakstone Academy - I usually have a very good finger on the pulse of what schools exist and what their teams look like, but for the longest time I had never even heard of Oakstone (probably because they're in Westerville, which is far from where I live and aren't in the OHSAA.) Anyways, they do In the Know, attended St. Charles OAC this past fall and was initially registered for OAC Fall at Ohio State, but withdrew due to a schedule conflict with the school play (I believe.) Their coach has an account on this board, also, so I'm sure they do consider more events in the Central Ohio than what they attend when it comes to making a schedule. I enjoyed reading for them at St. Charles, too.

Wellington - they won 'In the Know' two years ago; in case anyone is wondering, this is the same school referred to as 'Wellington Academy' (or whatever they're listed as) on the OAC State Champions/State Runners-Up list from when they made the state finals in either the 1980's or 1990's. They went to a Liberty event and NAQT States in the same spring, two years ago. Haven't heard much about them lately.

Worthington Christian - they may, or may not, be too large to be an NAQT small school under the private designation (am pretty sure they are near 300 students in grades 10-12.) Good academic reputation, strong reputation for participating in extracurricular activities - but not even an appearance on 'In the Know' ever, I don't believe. No active team, although they'd make a lot of sense to have one.

Not too sure what really can be done to get more of these schools participating. Watterson and SFD need to be leaders of the pack and dip their toes into Saturday quizbowl, if not, then they should stop advertising about 'being about the academics.'

Licking County
I'm going to write Licking the same way I write Madison, Pickaway and Union, as I'm not too familiar with most of the schools and its not worth my time finding the nuance between 'schools that aren't active but have a team' versus 'schools that aren't active and don't have a team.'

Schools that I know have active, long-standing teams: Granville, Heath, Licking Heights, and Newark.

Schools that I know have a team but are new: Lakewood and maybe Johnstown.

Newark Catholic folded theirs a few years ago, I believe.

Don't know anything about Northridge, Granville Christian, or Licking Valley.

County that has schools playing in a league where the questions are good (MSL), county that has schools playing in ESC competition where the questions are bad. Licking Heights and Granville, and possibly Lakewood, could always come onto the scene and be a consistent attendee (even if its one or two Saturday events out of the year), but we'll see.

Madison County
London and West Jeff have teams that play in a league, don't believe Madison Plains does.

Pickaway County
All of the schools have teams, but they only do league play with the exception of Logan Elm - who will go to St. Charles OAC from time to time, in addition to MSL.

Union County
Fairbanks may play in that Five-County League everyone has heard of. Think the same is true with Marysville. Jonathan Alder is the hosting school for that league's operations. That league is the same one as mentioned earlier for the Olentangy buildings that are on Questions Unlimited. Not a league that adheres to 'good quizbowl' practices by any stretch of the imagination.

Don't really have anything substantial to write about the state of quizbowl for the last three counties. If any of them, outside of Logan Elm (who already does,) come to a Saturday event, then that's impressive.

Cortney Bird
OQBA co-director
QB Coach @ Olentangy Berlin HS 2018-Present
Statistician @ NE ITK league

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