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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:34 am 
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I got this idea from somewhere else. I can't remember if its HSQB or one of Ohio's hs sports forums, but I know I read this idea before.

Initially, this concept may only seem to 'make sense' if a school a pretty long history of playing quiz bowl. However, I am curious to see what all schools consider to be the 'four best' players in their history. Even though not every school has made the state finals, for example, I am still curious to see what teams consider to be their 'legendary' players. Criteria such as performance in league, regional, or even television play can certainly be a good and fair way of promoting great players of yesteryear. Every school arguably has, at minimum, some semblance of a 'wonder years' period with particular players leading their team to victory at any level of competition. The general idea behind this is a) promoting history on this board and b) for schools to recognize their own tradition. Tradition doesn't always have to be measured in regional titles or 1st/2nd place finishes at OAC or NAQT... after all, that would be a pretty exclusive way to define 'tradition', wouldn't it?

A school need not have one poster exclusively define their schools' "four greatest"; in other words, contributions from multiple posters for an individual school are welcomed.

So, who goes on Mt. Rushmore for your school?

I'll start this with Fisher.


Sarah Hickman - years active: 2001-2004. Notable accomplishments: only player in F.C. history to be named a PACE NSC All-Star (2004.); 2004 OAC State Champion; captained the F.C. A team that won 'Battle of the Burgh VI', which notably featured the thrilling upset of State College A (who was then coached by the legendary Julie Gittings) in the finals.

Arguably the greatest literature player in FC's history, and possibly one of the state of Ohio's all-time best literature players, Sarah was by all accounts a force to be reckoned with at the local, regional, and state levels. I'm not entirely sure of the chronology of Ohio quiz bowl as it relates to the gender, but I believe I'm correct in saying Sarah is one of only a few female quiz bowlers in Ohio's history to captain their squad to a state title.

Christine Kennedy - years active: 2002-2005. Notable accomplishments: 2004 OAC State Champion, second-place finisher in the 2007 Jeopardy! College Tournament while a student at Notre Dame (doing so at the age of 19.)

There are more than four people deserving of the four spots for FC, in my opinion, but I definitely have to include Christine: until Jim Coury (of Olmsted Falls/Georgetown U) won the tournament in 2013, Christine was the highest finisher from the Buckeye State on College Jeopardy.

Steven Wellstead - years active: 2004-2007. Notable accomplishments: 2004 and 2006 OAC State Champion, 2006 NAQT State Champion (Division II); first freshman in Fisher history to captain his squad to a winning record at a Saturday event; one of the first players to be ever 'hand-selected' to represent Team Ohio at either NTAE or NASAT; helped fuel and keep alive the Case Western team during his freshman year (according to QBWiki.)

Steven was pretty solid as a high school player, particularly in geography and art. As a college freshman, Steven scored second individually in the D2 portion of the 2008 Sectional Championship Tournament. In general, Steven was pretty good at his subjects and is definitely one of the most accomplished players between high school and college quizbowl to come from FC.

Brandon Shull - years active: 2011-2015. Notable accomplishments: 2013 State of Ohio History Bowl champion; only player in Fisher history to captain a team to a playoffs win at HSNCT (3-2 record as captain on HSNCT Sunday); only player in Fisher history to be named an HSNCT All-Star (2015); only player in Fisher history to start on all four Fisher squads that attended OAC States in four years; all-time leader in powers in school history; all-time highest points scorer in school history.

Brandon is definitely one of the best players in school history. History was Brandon's strength, but he was also particularly good at the majority of subjects and he was pretty good on harder material. On paper, Brandon's stats would likely be a lot more impressive if it weren't for the fact him and I had so much overlap in the three years we played with each other. I was always amazed by some of the buzzes Brandon would pull on some of the tougher, more unusual answerlines such as at HSNCT. More aptly, Brandon was one hell of a teammate and is too cool of a guy to not like.


I included 'notable accomplishments' as my a criteria to help shape my own rankings simply because three of the players listed played in the predominant OAC era of nearly 10 years ago, so it was in essence a good tool to help explain why I have x player listed.

Share 'em!

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Thomas Moore
William V. Fisher Catholic '14
Ohio Wesleyan '18


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:39 am 
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Tom - any list of best players at Fisher needs to include you, and I don't think anyone would argue that. I do however, respect you including yourself on your own list. That said, I was only a halfway decent player at GHHS and all of the following would have crushed me head to head.

For GHHS, there were a lot of great players who preceded me but in that era, the team basically only played OAC events and Chipbowl nationals, so I'll not mention most of them.

John Presloid (1996-2000) - One of the very few freshmen to ever start on GHHS's A-team. Was a member of two state runner-up squads and would've been easily the best player in Ohio if not for a certain Copley stud named Brandon Eilertson. For a team that mainly played OAC, he was extremely good at dissecting pyramidal questions early. Great history and trash player.

Jon Geisinger (2001-05) - Jon was a freshman the year after I graduated and showed early signs of promise. He was a really good biology and history player and captained my first tournament-winning team (Solon 2005). His senior year, he was one of the top players in the state behind Noah Rahman (Solon) and Zach Witeof (Tipp) and led us to a 7-1 record against Solon, the NAQT state runner-up trophy and a northeast regional title.

Jim Hrdlicka (2002-06) - Jim, who remains one of my best friends to this day, is perhaps the best history player I ever coached. He was the leading scorer at most tournaments we attended from his sophomore year onward including outdueling Joel Knight several times at Case tournaments. He led us our first NAQT state title in 2006 and narrowly missed an OAC state trip after we lost while playing undermanned on a RECOGNITION! penalty at the northeast regional. He was also an exceptionally good lit, current events and trash player. He served as a great role model for perhaps the best player in GHHS history...

Dan Humphrey (2004-2008) - I personally recruited Dan to be on the team out of our middle school along with another fantastic player, Joe Wells. As freshmen, him and Joe played as a two-man GHHS B team at NAQT states in 2005, winning several matches against other stellar teams. He joined the A-team in fall 2005 and teamed with Jim, Joe and Zeke Watson to win our first NAQT state title. Dan was an incredible self-made player who was fantastic in literature, history and biology and taught himself AP chemistry and other subjects that GHHS lacked. In 2007, he led us to a surprising OAC state final victory over Steven Wellstead and Fisher Catholic and in 2008, led us to becoming the first team to capture the OAC and NAQT state titles in the same year. I can say that Dan would edge out Jim to be considered the best quizbowl player in GHHS history.

Joe Wells (2004-2008) - I'm including Joe on this list because he also was a self-made player. It took a little bit of time for it to click, but Joe began to study hard his junior year and actually played several tournaments solo and as the "B" team captain to help him work on buzzer speed and to become more well-rounded. He was one of, if not the best trash player I've ever coached and was solid in lit, fine arts and biology as well. I always liked to refer to him as Dan's comic foil, since they liked to argue about things constantly, but my favorite Joe moment was when Dan answered the first 19 lightning round questions in a league match and Joe buzzed in on the 20th question after hearing 1 word and said "I don't know the answer, I just don't want Dan to get all 20 correct".

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Former Coach, Garfield Heights HS (2001-2008)
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Kent State '06 / Boise State '10


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:46 am 
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I'm going to let individual coaches promote their programs, but when I think about some of the bigger programs, the following names come to mind:

Walnut Hills: Jacob Durst, Lei Fan, Peter Komarek
Northmont: Sam Blizzard, Michael Czupryn, Joe Czupryn, Kara Combs, Brandon Williams
Copley: so many... but Brandon Eilertson, Chris Mayer, Dennis Butcher, Bob Shott, Mike Shott, Bill Cole, Aaron [last name I forgot], Saajid Moyen, among others
Solon: Noah Rahman, Jasper Lee, Rohin Devanathan, Ajay Pillai
Tipp: Zach Witeof, Ryan Haas, Katie Haas, Doug Slocum, Jack Zhao, Laurel Spangler
St Charles: Alex and pretty much his whole 03 team who were ridiculously balanced, Allan Joseph, Zel Demere...

People from teams with only a few great players over the years: Brianna Prislipsky (South Range), Jarret Greene (South Range), Michael Coates (Harding), Ike Jose (Stow)

There's lots more and many I'm missing so chime in coaches.

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Chief Admin, ohioqbforum.com
Former Coach, Garfield Heights HS (2001-2008)
Coach, North High School (2015-)
Kent State '06 / Boise State '10


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:55 pm 
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BobKilner wrote:
My favorite Joe moment was when Dan answered the first 19 lightning round questions in a league match and Joe buzzed in on the 20th question after hearing 1 word and said "I don't know the answer, I just don't want Dan to get all 20 correct".


^ This story is truly gold.

For Miami Valley, I would say our Mount Rushmore is very much a work in progress...one could argue it's still merely a chunk of hill. I've actually tried to put together some research last night and today on the pre-2005 history of the program, but all I've managed to figure out is that we played mostly TV shows mixed in with maybe a couple Sidney Social Studies Shootouts over the years (remember those?). Records show that MVS did win WHIO's High-Q game show in 1995-96, so if there was a leading member of that team they should probably get a spot just for being a Venerable Ancestor...the '96 yearbook makes no mention of this sparkling achievement. If anyone remembers anything from this period, let me know!

When I was a freshman ('05-'06), MVS won High-Q again behind a couple seniors, John Nelson and Kevin Hendricks...we were down a ton of points to Tippecanoe and somehow Kevin strung together like six final round questions to steal the game. So sentimentally, Kevin should be considered for a spot, even though John was the captain and definitely a better academic player, on the condition that Kevin be depicted with his head in a television box graphic with his name underneath.

For '06 on, we start to have some statistical records from NAQT (our first tossup-bonus tournament was the inaugural Rowdy Raider in '07), and we were playing at least a couple OAC events at that point (I feel like we never played Regionals, probably because we didn't qualify). High-Q was still the big draw, and the next three years we consecutively got blitzed by Tipp in the finals, lost a close match to Carroll in the finals, and got beat by Carroll in the next year's Final Four. In Saturday tournaments, I scored a lot of points by waiting until the end of questions and matching up titles and names. If I get a spot on the mountain, I mandate that it be carved literally on the surface of the rock like a caricature in honor of my surface knowledge.

Ideally, any of us to actually make it on our respective mountains should be biding our time until the next generation comes along and tries to dynamite us off. Even though his freshman season is still in progress, I think John John Groger has to have a spot in our top four (really, top one) already, and I feel like Max Mader should be considered for a spot also for the role he's played in re-developing our program in the last three years. On principle, discussion on those two (and William Groger, who has some high school questions under his belt already) should wait. Hopefully the rest of their careers will be bear me out here!

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Assistant, Miami Valley School HS Quiz
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Coming from a much less established program than others, we never had the quiz bowl culture of schools like Northmont, Solon, or Copley. With that being said, however, Boardman has been a consistent contender ever since joining the Mahoning Valley league in 2005, and I was surprised to find out that the team has existed for longer than I had expected. We don't have too many "legendary" players to choose from, but here are a few: (Only mentioning players who have graduated)

John Landers (1996-2000) - Mr. Landers was part of the first Spartan Mahoning tournament championship team back in 2000. More noteworthy today though is his support for the team as a member of the Boardman school board since 2010. He frequently attends Mahoning League events and also captains our annual Faculty vs. Varsity scrimmage. It's always nice to have a former quiz bowler on the school board as an advocate!

Mike Disotell (2006?-2007) - Mike apparently only played for one year, (can't find any other stats for previous years) but as one of only two Spartans to be Mahoning County Player of the Year, I felt he deserved a spot. Under the leadership of coach Jeff Boyll, the 2007 team won the Mahoning title as well as WYTV's Academic Challenge. They were also registered for HSNCT at one point, but did not attend. I'm sure Mr. Bossick can say more about this era, but judging from stats and hardware, this was a great team.

Mario Leone (2007-2010) - Captain of the 2009 championship team and the 2010 runner-ups to Jarret Greene's South Range, Mario had another short, but sweet career. Both of those teams were incredibly balanced, with Mario leading the way particularly in geography and history. Interestingly enough, Mario was the first of three Boardman captains who were top three finishers at the state National Geographic Bee in middle school, the others being myself and...

Michael Palagano (2011-2015) - Michael was (to my knowledge) the first ever Spartan to play a varsity game as a freshman, with strong knowledge in geography and history. He started Varsity as a sophomore, and along with teammates Luke Carabbia and Tristan Myers would go on to lead strong teams the next three years. Mike's senior year and coach Randy Nord's second year culminated in a league championship, ending three years of dominance by South Range. 2014-15 also marked the beginning of Boardman's quiz bowl renaissance, as the team became much more active outside the league going to South Range, Battle of the Burgh, and Boardman's first ever trip to HSNCT. We finished 3-7, but as a freshman I was extremely glad to have learned the basics of quiz bowl from the seniors on the team and have the opportunity to go to Chicago. Mike was also instrumental in starting Youngstown State's program and still remains active in quiz bowl.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:04 pm 
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Agreed with Bob. Gotta have Tom Moore on Fisher's Mt. Rushmore. Way more contributions to the HS game than Christine (no offense to her).

I'm a believer that college accomplishments should not be considered (nor should college jeopardy).

I don't believe Cooperstown considers stats from other leagues or levels when determining candidacy. Only high school stats should matter in determining our criteria, imho.

Regarding Tippecanoe, we've been awarding season MVP honors since 1999. Going back and looking at who won multiple times, Zach Witeof easily tops the list. Zach was the dominant player of his year(s) in quiz bowl, especially from 2003-05. Next on the list would be Laurel Spangler. Laurel carried the team her senior year at History Bowl, and was a one-woman tour de force topping individual leaderboards at many events in 2015-16. Third would be Ryan Haas, who was able to accomplish what the others could not - an NAQT state title. However, Ryan was helped significantly by great teammates that carried him in areas like science and math (he knew next to nothing in those areas). Fourth is a tough call, but probably I'd give the nod to Catie Haas. She was prohibited from playing while Ryan was on the team (by Ryan's demands) and she emerged as a force after a bit of a slow start. Honorable mention for the "backside" of the mountain would be Kase Vyas, Josh Brown, Joe Gauthier, Hannah Walker, Emily Ash, Eric Tollefson, Mike Dever, Joe Linsenmeyer, Ryan Posey, Elizabeth McCrillis and Aaron Peacock. In the future, Michael Vestey might knock off Catie or Ryan, but with the current competitive nature of Ohio quiz bowl, I'm not sure there's much chance Tipp will earn another state title. But stranger things have happened. Michael's only a sophomore, so if he can keep pace with John-John or Hari, who knows where he'll finish?

Re:Northmont - How can you leave out Emily Bingham?

Another program that might deserve its own Mt. Rushmore is Sidney. Also, Olmsted could put up a pretty good foursome.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Well, I'm still a bit new around here, but I'll add what I can to the Solon side of the discussion, and Bob Weiser can obviously chime in with far greater perspective.

Noah Rahman - seems the obvious starting point. Noah was part of two top ten finishes at HSNCT - T8/64 in '04 and 4/96 in '05 - and was the #2 scorer at both of those tournaments. His team also won the inaugural NAQT State title, as well as an Indiana State title! (Bob has told me that story, but I forget most of it. I think Noah was simply dying to go out and play NAQT). The other thing that Bob has told me is that from a leadership standpoint, Noah transformed the program. Not only was he an excellent player, but he wanted to improve and wanted the program to become a force, through things like running tournaments and going to camp.

Rohin Devanathan - It's pretty easy to learn how to be a quizbowl coach when you have Rohin Devanathan and John Xiang as juniors ready to explode. Rohin has more than double the next closest Solon player in terms of both NAQT points and powers. Over 21000 points and over 1000 powers for NAQT - those marks will stand for awhile at our school. Rohin was also very coachable, and it seemed like whenever I mentioned an area to the team that I thought we should improve in, a month or two later it was Rohin who had taken up that burden. Rohin also competed on two state championship teams in one day last April. He completed two events at OSU for Science Olympiad, then rushed over to join NAQT states mid 2nd round, and solo-ed our way back into the tournament after a first round bus-crash forfeit. In fact, we invented a game late last year called "Bus Crash." Rohin would spot the rest of the room x number of questions on a packet, and then try to come back and win solo. Sadistically, I made him spot them 12 questions one time, and he nearly tied it. Every other time, he came back and won.

John Xiang - That next closest Solon player after Rohin in NAQT stats? John Xiang. John was a deadly lit. player, and could also score reams of points on his own. (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/3357/stats/varsity_all_games/individuals/ #1 scorer at a tournament in California that he played solo while at UC Berkeley on a college visit!) John's definitely the most analytical-minded player I've seen so far, and he and Rohin made quite the imposing pair, not to mention making each other better. (I know we're not considering college accomplishments, but the two of them just won a DII ICT championship - I just want to give them props for it here!) John really introduced me to the kind of kid that eats, sleeps, breathes quizbowl, and really pushed me to try to get up to speed my first couple of years. The two of them together won OAC and NAQT championships, a top ten HSNCT finish, and two top 16 NSC finishes.

For the last spot, it would probably be someone I wasn't around for. Ajay Pillai must have done a lot with OAC, because he doesn't seem to have accrued too many NAQT stats.

Jasper Lee seems the best choice. Top-20 HSNCT finish and OAC championship both in 2010. Nishanth Uli, who is slightly ahead of Jasper in scoring and powers, seems to have exploded the year after Jasper, but Jasper seems to have anchored them on a better overall team the year before.


It's fun to think about this, but even more exciting to think about how the current crop of kids across the state is going to continue to make their marks!

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Solon High School


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