Wilson Quiz Bowl outscores their opponents to move onto the playoffs in 2021

Julia Weinrod

The Wilson Quiz Bowl team beat Dematha Catholic High School and Lake Braddock Secondary School in a close match on “It’s Academic,” the NBC4 quiz show on November 14. Three juniors—Liam Hansen, Meredith Simon, and John Joire—made up the Wilson team, coached by Math teacher Jeremy Singer.

Either of the other teams could have won with just one more question answered correctly. The Wilson team is advancing to the playoffs which will be taped in early 2021. 

The Wilson team started off slow. “They were nervous,” Singer said. “They weren’t in a good rhythm.” As the round went on, hard work and teamwork helped them to answer question after question correctly. “The thing I liked is that they settled down, they answered questions, and they communicated, which is very important to me,” Singer noted.

The show, which has been running since 1961, normally features the teams onstage where they race to answer first correctly. This year, because of the limitations of taping virtually, each team was given questions to answer on its own. Other changes to the format included questions where the teams unscrambled words and used visual clues for questions about works of art or math. 

Singer lamented the fact that quiz bowl is less fun online. “Getting kids on board to do tournaments virtually is harder because it’s not as exciting. It just isn’t. My game plan is to keep people interested so that next year when we can go to tournaments, kids have the opportunity to do so. I think all clubs are suffering through the same thing,” he added.

An important aspect of the Wilson team is camaraderie. “I want the people who are playing in the tournaments to have fun. Being competitive is fun, but so is the silly stuff,” said Singer.

It was Joire’s first competition since starting to practice last winter. The night before the show, he watched a few previous episodes and noticed a number of questions about presidents. His response? To memorize all of the presidents in order. “That was really stressful,” he said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that because they didn’t ask a single question on presidents.”

The team practices weekly and will compete in a few more tournaments before returning to “It’s Academic” for the next round on January 17. Students who are interested in joining the team should email [email protected].