Monday, June 19, 2006

National Champions!!!

My team, Raleigh Charter High School, was competing in the National Scholastic Championship quiz bowl tournament. It was a grueling two days of competition. There are two national competitions, the PACE NSC which was held this past weekend in Durham and the NAQT which was held a few weeks ago in Chicago. We couldn't make it to NAQT's national tournament as that was the week of final exams at our school and our kids decided to concentrate on those tests and just compete at the PACE tournament being held down the road here in Durham. An impressive team from Richard Montgomery High School in Maryland won the NAQT.

At the PACE championship (scroll down for the results) this weekend , it came down to my team vs. Richard Montgomery in the finals. They had beaten us in the preliminary matches earlier that day and had beaten us quite decisively so the our kids knew what a tough job they had ahead of them. But they took an early lead and never gave it up. It was a very impressive performance. And very exciting to watch. To defeat the national champion from the other national competition was a very great moment for our guys.

It's been great fun to have worked, along with my co-coach, Eric Grunden, with these kids. We have a lot of fun in our practices and the kids are not only impressively smart, but also just very nice people. I'm as proud of the compliments I received from other coaches about what great kids we have as I am of how smart they are. I have had the privilege of having worked with two of the members of the team for seven years because they went to the middle school where I used to teach and had led our middle school quiz bowl team to national victories when they were in 6th and 8th grade. Then we all came to Raleigh Charter four years ago and I've been free riding off of their skills for the past four years. I will miss them so much, and for more than their quiz bowl skills, now that they have graduated. Boy, it's been fun. And winning the national tournament yesterday was sweet icing on the cake for a fantastic seven years of quiz bowl excitement.