The Best of the '10s

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The Best of the '10s

Postby tomoore » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:05 am

Better late, than never. I've written one for players/teams. I may write two more: one for tournaments and one for miscellany. Rankings my own; criticize as you will. Feel free to do your own.

The Top Ten History Players
10. Brandon Shull, Fisher Cath '15.
9. Roger Jin, Dublin Jerome '14.
8. David Kramer, Solon '13.
7. Marty Mendenhall, Olmsted Falls '13.
6. Jarret Greene, South Range '10.*
5. Joe Nutter, Walnut Hills '11.
4. Michael Coates, Warren G. Harding '12.
3. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
2. John John Groger, Miami Valley '20.
1. Hari Parameswaran, Beavercreek '19.

This was hard to really round out order-wise in slots 1-6, but I think I have it right. I have (embarrassingly) asterisked Jarret simply because he's the only player on this list I never got to see as a high school player, but I was under the long understanding that history in particular was a subject he owned in high school. I think there is some separation between the top five (a 'Tier 1A', if you will) and the next four after Jarret ('Tier 1B'), so I have no reservation against putting him there (if I'm wrong on him doing particularly well on history in HS, whoops.) The notable omissions here would be Clark Smith and William Groger: these omissions carry no personal bias, but rather the fact that both players were/are pretty good in many subjects and thus history doesn't stand out apart from other subjects in their legend (unlike, say, Michael Coates) and I have no totally workable nor decipherable amount of data points referencing their specific performance on history content to compare against the top three or how they'd stack up against the rest of the top 10. I also don't have anybody from Northmont 2010-2011 here, which is regrettable but hopefully understandable.

The Top Ten Literature Players

10. Jarret Greene, South Range '10.*
9. Zel Demere, St. Charles '14.
8. Saajid Moyen, Copley '11.
7. Nour Hijazi, Sidney '17.
6. Abby Cohen, Beavercreek '20.
5. John Xiang, Solon '16.
4. Emily Bingham, Northmont '11.
3. Brianna Prislipsky, South Range '14.
2. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
1. Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto '18.

I have JG asterisked again but I feel less reservation this time around given that he's at tenth, simply because I can't really think of anyone who stakes a better case to round out the top 10. I'm not bothered necessarily if I'm wrong since I can't exactly argue anyone else more deserving (maybe I can, but I won't.) Spots 1-7... that was not easy at all to order. Nour probably deserves to be ranked higher (maybe leapfrog three places and swap with Emily?). Emily was pretty dang good at literature, so I'm comfortable with her being somewhere in the top seven- the primary problem I grappled with the ranking of the top seven is comparing the eras, potential differences in the canon at the regular(+) levels across those eras and isolating individuals' literature expertise as adults from their performance in high school (the primary example is obviously Emily: there's no doubt in my mind that she's by far the most knowledgeable person about the subject of literature today, but I don't see that as a strong nor fair criteria to put her above any of the top three.) As for the top three: Brianna had regular difficulty literature locked up and she was quite proficient at harder level literature throughout her entire high school career. Sam was probably a hair better at those levels, but I have him at #2 because of a) his performance on literature at the national levels and b) Sam's dominance of literature paved the path for umpteen state championships. That counts for, a lot... and I would have definitely had him at #1 if not for Clark's performance on literature at all difficulties.

Top Ten RMP Players
10. Christian Moore, South Range '14.
9. David Kramer, Solon '13.
8. Steven Susa, St. Charles '15.
7. Zel Demere, St. Charles '14.
6. Artur Meller, Sycamore '13.
5. Arjun Venkataraman, Dublin Scioto '14.
4. Koh Yamakawa, Dublin Scioto '16.
3. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
2. Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto '18.
1. Sohan Vartak, Olmsted Falls '12.

This is either a really good list, or a bad list. It's probably more in the middle, if anything. Christian, David and Steven I recall being particularly good at mythology from when I played (same with Zel and Arjun, although he was pretty solid in all three of the RMP categories from what I remember.) I also recall Koh being excellent at RMP, particularly mythology. I have no real idea how Clark would've compared to Sohan, but Sohan was breath-taking at RMP.

Top Eight Science Players (the list I had the hardest time writing, so I'm going to only do eight here.)
8. Brandon Williams or Michael Czupryn (whichever of the two was the stronger science player, Northmont '11.)
7. Tyler McMaken, St. Charles '15.
6. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
5. Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto '18.
4. Arjun Venkataraman, Dublin Scioto '14.
3. Rohan Achar, Solon '13.
2. Enoch Fu, Dublin Scioto '18.
1. Ashvin Srivatsa, Sycamore '10.

I wasn't going to write ten players only because I personally have always been largely illiterate with quizbowl science, and thus I wasn't going to write two more players unless I knew for certain that they in fact were good at science. I believe David Cohen was the primary points-getter in science for Beavercreek, but again wasn't too sure. If so, he would be in the list.

Top Ten Fine Arts Players
10. Brandon Shull, Fisher Cath. '15
9. Brandon Williams, Northmont '11.
8. Zel Demere, St. Charles '14.
7. Jack Martin, Sidney '15.
6. Nour Hijazi, Sidney '17.
5. Hunter Wotruba, Fisher Cath. '18
4. Hari Parameswaran, Beavercreek '19.
3. Kara Combs, Northmont '17.
2. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
1. Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto '18.

This probably has some recency bias in effect, which I admit. I would've personally put fine arts from Olmsted Falls '10-11 and Solon '15-16 for sure, but I wasn't 100% on who exactly it was from both teams (I'm assuming it was Jim Coury in the former, but with the latter I wasn't too sure if it was Rohin or John or some combination of Rohin and John.) Regardless, I'm thinking this was a pretty good 1-10.

Top Five TRASH Players
5. Jarret Greene, South Range '10.
4. Joey Esposito, Aurora '19.
3. Rohin Devanathan, Solon '16.
2. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15.
1. Mazin Omer, Ottawa Hills '19.

I have no comment for this aside from the fact they all were great at it.


Top Ten Overall Players
10. Zel Demere, St. Charles '14.
9. Michael Coates, Warren G. Harding '12.
8. Arjun Venkataraman, Dublin Scioto '14.
7. John John Groger, Miami Valley '20.
6. Rohin Devanathan, Solon '16.
5. Jim Coury, Olmsted Falls '11.
4. Saajid Moyen, Copley '11.
t1. Sam Blizzard, Northmont '15; Hari Parameswaran, Beavercreek '19; Clark Smith, Dublin Scioto '17.

Top Ten Programs
10. Olmsted Falls
9. Walnut Hills
8. Ottawa Hills
7. Fisher Cath.
6. Dublin Scioto
5. Copley
4. Miami Valley
3. Beavercreek
t1. Solon; t1. Northmont

I believe Olmsted Falls should be top ten for their sustained performance over three different captains from 2010 to 2013: they won the 2011 NAQT State title led by Jim Coury, the next year they won three IS events in Ohio including Rowdy Raider (plus an IS tournament in WV) and an OAC crown, and the third year they were still remarkably dangerous under Marty Mendenhall. Walnut Hills has been consistently tough the entire decade. I admittedly was on the fence about including Ottawa Hills, and had I not included them I would've slotted OF and WH up one spot and put Little Miami or Boardman (probably LM) at 10. But the Green Bears have led the line for Ohio at SSNCT and have done so impressively. Dublin Scioto, I just can't put them any higher than sixth... not when you look at the body of work and profiles of the programs in 1-5. I would've had a very hard time not putting Copley in my top five: they've been way more consistent than any of the teams behind them, they have a state title (2011.) I wrestled a little bit with the "am I going to put Miami Valley, who has only been on the statewide scene for the second half of the decade ahead of Copley?" task for a while. I decided "yes", because of just how well they've done at SSNCT (2nd in 17, 3rd in 18 and Nat'l Champs in 19) along with how impressive they've been at History Bowl. It was harder for me to have the First Ohio Team to Win at HSNCT behind Copley than it would have been the reverse, so Beavercreek for sure at #3. So it came down to two... and I was going back and forth on this. I mean, I can't think of a year this decade that Solon truly wasn't in the state title conversation (and yeah, I would say they were definitely in that conversation the last couple of years.) And that was with a changing of the guard at the coach position at the midpoint of the decade, too! Bob Weiser and Peter Bergman are two great coaches, and its not often that we see programs stay at the same speed and level of excellence when a new coach takes the reigns! But then, I had to consider what was to the west. And you got a program at Northmont that had one of the best groups in state history in the '10-11 team, a four year reign of dominance under a phenom player and his supporting cast, and even after he graduates you still have a program that is constantly pumping out teams that are contending for the top flights who are often composed largely of underclassmen. And I couldn't land on a solid "one is more worthy of #1 than the other."

Top Ten Small School Programs, Public
10. Greenfield McClain
9. Smithville
8. Wheelersburg
7. Minford
6. Newbury
5. United
4. Bexley
3. South Range
2. Beachwood
1. Ottawa Hills

McClain finished 15th at SSNCT two years ago and are generally one of the toughest programs in the Frontier Athletic Conference of South Central Ohio. Smithville always was a pretty respectable small school program. 'Burg and Minford I have where they are because of how competitive and respectable they've always performed at the Southeast Regional. Newbury has several playoff appearances at SSNCT, I believe and wasn't a stranger to several NE Ohio events. It is also the final school year for them, so I hope they do well at SSNCT should they attend. United finished 12th several years ago at SSNCT, if I recall correctly. Bexley usually falls on the fringes on either side of the Small School designation, but they've obviously been an always tough out at NAQT States. South Range: 2010 National Champions, always were respectable at the small school flight of the broader HSNCT Sunday competition. Beachwood: 2012 National Champions, generally more of a threat toward the title in recent years than the teams behind them on the list. Ottawa Hills: 2019 State Champs, 2018 Very Small School Nat'l Champions.

Top Five Small School Programs, Private
5. Bishop Ready
4. Maumee Valley Country Day
3. University School
2. Fisher Cath.
1. Miami Valley
Moore, T.

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Re: The Best of the '10s

Postby dxdtdemon » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:56 am

If you're including Jarret Greene, then why aren't you including Jasper Lee? Otherwise, these look like really great lists.
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Re: The Best of the '10s

Postby tomoore » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm

dxdtdemon wrote:If you're including Jarret Greene, then why aren't you including Jasper Lee? Otherwise, these look like really great lists.

I wanted to get Jasper on there somewhere. The problem is him and Jarret’s senior season is the only season of the decade I had no first-hand witness to, so I had great difficulty pinpointing a particular category to recognize Jasper for. As for why I applied that standard differently to Jarret: I was willing to hazard category recognitions for him on the basis of him being a national champion, for the purpose of him being recognized on the lists. Is this faulty? Sure, but since this is for fun and since this happens with statewide recognition all the time for high schoolers in other activities (see All-Ohio football teams were a star running-back earns a first or second-team recognition at another position they played, e.g. linebacker) I didn’t think it was too controversial.

I actually had Jasper originally on my list of the Top Ten Overall, at #10, but glancing over I realized I didn’t have Rohin from Solon on there. And I definitely wanted Rohin on there. So I put him at #6, which felt right, and thus everyone moved back one. I went back-and-forth as to whether Jasper or Zel was going to make the cut. That was a hard decision— both were great players. Ultimately, I admit it was the first-hand witness of playing against Zel and his body of work & stats that suggested to me he had the marginally more convincing case to make it. It wasn’t an easy choice at all. There could be nine other ballots for a Top Ten Overall, and 7-8 (if not 9) of those would have Jasper on it, so him just missing on mine seems a little more palatable to me.
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Re: The Best of the '10s

Postby BobKilner » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:50 pm

Mazin was a fantastic trash player, but Ryan Milowicki (St. Eds class of 2012) would have crushed him one-on-one. And I could argue Ryan's sister Cari could hold her own in every subject except sports. Admittedly, I'm biased because Ryan is a good friend of mine, but he flat out DOMINATED his three years at our trash tournament and fourth-wheeling on teams in open tournaments with him, Drew Scheeler and Steven Oppenheim has been incredible to watch.
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