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Decatur High School quiz bowl team competes in national tournament


Decatur High School quiz bowl team competes in national tournament

The Decatur High School Quiz Bowl Team competed in a national tournament beginning on Saturday, May 29,, 2021. The team finished the preliminary round with a 4-4 record. Photo submitted by Alex Sawyer.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur High School quiz bowl team competed at the national stage on Saturday, May 29, at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ High School National Championship Tournament over two days of matches.

The competition was held virtually and DHS student’s competed against 223 teams. Decatur finished the preliminary rounds with a 4-4 record. The team was on the brink of elimination when they defeated Thomas Jefferson Science and Tech from Alexandria, Va., in the ninth round to stay in the competition, according to a press release.

A team from Illinois won the competition. The tournament featured teams from 32 states, China, Singapore and South Korea. Decatur High School was one of 11 Georgia teams competing at the national championship.

“The NAQT nation championships is a quiz bowl competition with high schools all over the world where students answer questions on really anything — economics, history, chemistry, movies, pop culture, you name it,” Quiz Bowl coach Alex Sawyer said. “It’s important for the teams to be well rounded and have specialists in each field.”

Each team earns points based on how many questions they answer correctly. The team captain delegates the correct answer in each bonus question set, Sawyer said.

“So, if the team gets the first question correct, then they have the opportunity to work together to answer three questions as a team afterwards, but answers are only accepted from the captain,” he added.

DHS has participated in this event for three years and the students prepared all year for the tournament. They generally compete in about five to eight competitions each year with teams from all over the United States, Sawyer said.

The team consisted of Aaron Lam, Keon Sanavandi, Adrien Tirouvanziam, Sam Williams, Lydia Witter, and Jeffrey Yan.

The team finished third overall in their division at the state tournament and did well in other tournaments throughout the year that were organized by the quiz bowl associations of Minnesota and Georgia, Sawyer said.

“We have some very bright, hard-working students who put in the time to study on their own outside of practice and who are excited to compete,” Sawyer said. “Our captain, Sam Williams, also does a great job of listening to his teammates during the bonus rounds and has helped us pull out some victories in close competition.”

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