South Georgia State College Academic Quiz Team competes at National Championship Tournament
The South Georgia State College (SGSC) Academic Quiz Team wrapped up their season recently, competing at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ (NAQT) Community College Championship Tournament (CCCT). The top 24 teams in the nation were invited, with SGSC earning the number 22 seed. SGSC’s team finished the two-day tournament with a record of five wins and seven losses, receiving 14th place which was considerably higher than the seeding.
SGSC went 2-3 in the first day of competition, placing them in a three-way tie in the initial six team bracket. The top two teams in each bracket played in the top tier of competition on day two. Third and fourth place played in the middle tier and the last two teams played in the bottom tier. The three-way tie meant participating in an early morning tie-breaker round with Valencia, Florida's B Team, which had defeated SGSC the day before by a score of 160-110, and Bevill-Jasper, Alabama. The tie-breaker was structured such that Valencia and Bevill first played for third place, with the loser having to play again, against SGSC for fourth place and a slot in the middle tier. SGSC avenged the earlier loss by beating Valencia B on the last toss up question, with the team captain, Josh Thomas, buzzing in early and giving the correct answer. SGSC then lost the next three matches against teams finishing third in their brackets before winning two of the last three. In all, this was a solid performance against the nation’s best schools. Josh Thomas concluded his SGSC Quiz Team experience by finishing 11th out of the 104 players, earning a trophy from NAQT for his efforts.
Three players from this team will return next year: Rachel Vuong, who was the second highest scorer for the year, Melissa Williamson, who returned from a short hiatus to provide help at crucial moments, and new member, Carter Hutchinson, whose knowledge of sports - a rare thing in Quiz competition - helped the team earn points usually unattainable.
“Quiz competition is very difficult. Competitors must be able to answer questions on a wide variety of topics from physics and opera to reality television and K-Pop, and do so in mere seconds. Our players have committed an extraordinary amount of their own time to studying, practicing, and coaching each other to prepare for this tournament,” said Dr. Frank Holiwski, SGSC’s professor of psychology and quiz team advisor. “I am very proud of the effort and outcome, as well as the way the players represented SGSC at this competition. Their efforts have extended our CCCT streak to 3 consecutive years, and 5 of the last 6. I hope SGSC continues to attract talented students who are interested in this sort of high-level academic, and hopefully, fun activity.”
NAQT President Robert Hentzel presents SGSC’s Josh Thomas from Alpharetta, Ga., with a trophy for his accomplishment in the tournament.