Academic quiz team:

Let’s get quizzical

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Bareen Abdulrahman

The Academic Quiz team tryouts took place on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19. The students who qualified for the team are Benjamin Allison, ‘28, Oliver Bayer, ‘28, Alex Flamme, ‘28, Shea Dillon, ‘27, Tiernan Hicks, ‘27, Lawrence Hilton, ‘27, Ben Jump, ‘27, Cal Moore, ‘27, Rishi Pampati, ‘27, Nikolai Fedorov, ‘26, Jackson Riddle, ‘26, Rick Roychoudhury, ‘26, Neil Shanbhag, ‘26, Ana Smith, ‘26, Ian Leventhal, ‘25, Declan Mohler, ‘25, Miles Spieler, ‘25, Selima Aousheva, ‘24, Raghav Gangatirkar, ‘24, Brodie Kreder, ‘24, Emma Smith, ‘24, and SENIORS Graham Dunwoodie, Noah Esmail, Jae Goodman, Nico Luginbill and Eliza O’Keefe.

Bareen Abdulrahman, Section Editor of Features

The Academic Quiz Team is starting off strong, winning their first match on Oct. 15. at Indian Hill. Since the competition took place before tryouts for this year’s team, only returning players participated. Despite this, the A team won first place and the B team won third place.

The A team is made up of experienced players, Emma Smith, ‘24, and Eliza O’Keefe, ‘23, who helped maintain their winning streak and bring home a trophy. The B team surprised many in an upset against Little Miami’s A team.“[Last year WHHS] placed second and little Miami took first in the ECC (Eastern Cincinnati Conference) division,” Nikolai Fedorov, ‘26, a member of the B team, said. “Beating the A team of the champions of the ECC was incredible, we did not expect to win that match.”

Brian Meeron, an AP Statistics and AP Calculus BC teacher, started coaching WHHS’ Academic Quiz Team in 2016. He has to follow the same guidelines as sports coaches, even though many of the health guidelines don’t apply to quiz teams.

“I am CPR certified, [and] I have learned about cardiac arrest and all the dangerous things that can happen on the field,” Meeron said. “Though it’ll never happen in a quiz team, I’m part of the athletic department, so I have to meet all of their requirements.”

Although Meeron is considered a sports coach, the Academic Quiz Team isn’t treated as a sports team.

“The Academic Quiz Team borders the line between sport and club because Mr. Meeron is a part of the athletic department, and we get transportation to go to different ECC schools, but nobody really takes us seriously as a sport,” Fedorov said.

The Academic Quiz Team has been extremely successful as they moved on to Nationals in Atlanta, GA, five times in the past six years, and placed in the top 100 teams in the country last year. These achievements resulted from the team’s participation in tournaments.

“Just like our basketball team and our baseball team, we play all the ECC schools, but our quiz team also likes playing in tournaments,” Meeron said. “We’ve gone up to Columbus for a number of tournaments, and over the years we’ve gone down to Kentucky for tournaments.”

After winning against Little Miami which placed first in the ECC last year, O’Keefe has high hopes for the rest of the year.

“The feeling of getting an answer right and then feeling of winning basically [gives you] the same fulfillment that you derive from a physical sport,” O’Keefe.

Aside from all of the achievements of the Academic Quiz Team as a whole, individual players also benefit from joining the team

“When I [was] growing up I only learned about Eurocentricly focused battles, but the Academic Quiz Team really opens it up to the whole world perspective,” Fedorov said.

Just as individual players benefit from participating, Meeron does as well. Many wouldn’t expect that throughout his teenage years, Meeron hated school. 

“You didn’t know me in high school. I did nothing in high school, I hated high school, I didn’t want to be there, and quite often I found my way out. Now I teach high school, which is an interesting flip,” Meeron said.

Meeron also didn’t participate in any extracurriculars. However in Meeron’s yearbook, he was depicted as an involved student.

“If you look at my senior yearbook, you would think I’m in every club in the school. Because they did club pictures during the school day, I would just tell every teacher ‘Oh, I’m in French club,’ So I’d go take [that picture], ‘Oh, I’m on the baseball team,’ and I go to [take that picture]. So I’m in every picture in my high school yearbook because I got out of class for it,” Meeron said.

Meeron never liked math, but this changed in college.

“One of my roommates had me readA Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking, and it’s written for normal people like you and me to understand,” Meeron said. “There is no math in the book, but it was based in math, [and] I wanted to know more.” 

After college, Meeron continued to learn more about math and history among other subjects. He began coaching at Lakota East in 2006, and has been coaching since then. 

“Whether we’re a sport or not, we are definitely one of the more successful competitive teams in the entire school,” Meeron said.