A bright future for quiz bowl (why not join?)

By Thomas Hatfield ‘23

When the topic of academic competition clubs at Jesuit arises, debate usually comes to mind. Behind the scenes, however, quiz bowl is emerging as one of the elite competitive clubs at the school. 

With a top-20 national ranking last year and a new set of freshmen with a lot of potential, the quiz bowl team can only get better, and the hopes are the highest in program history.

“In the short term, we have a strong program and foundation”, Dr. Maier, the head coach of the quiz bowl team, remarked. “My hope is that we can grow as one of the state’s strongest programs.” 

On the team, freshmen and upperclassmen push each other to get better. 

“It is very good to see younger players beat older players on certain questions,” Dr. Maier remarked, “but those upperclassmen don’t like to lose to the younger group, especially freshmen, so that definitely will make them step up their game.” 

The freshmen have been pulling upsets out of the bag, one after another, including beating the junior B team twice and blowing out the sophomore B team. It won’t be long before the freshman experience real tournament action, which will be harder than practice matches. 

“Quiz bowl has blown up. There are tournaments for every level, especially in Texas,” Dr. Maier explained about the sport’s rising popularity and competitiveness. “More competition and quiz bowl camps. We have to work hard. We have to work harder than they work.” 

This team is no stranger to working hard, as their hard work already sent a freshman team to nationals last year. 

“We take quiz bowl very seriously,” Dr. Maier elaborated, “and taking from coaching cross country, I want to bring that discipline to quiz bowl.” 

While a repeat of last year’s success or better is the ultimate goal, more immediate goals occupy the team for now.

“I think small,” Dr. Maier noted.  “We need to think about the short term first. But, by accomplishing manageable goals now, we can make accomplishments, we can focus more on the later stuff as the year goes on. On the national level though, I think we definitely have a shot. They just have to work hard.”

While the future is bright, the Strake Jesuit quiz bowl team wants and needs more people. 

“You don’t have to be the guy that carries the team, the star of the team,” Dr. Maier said. “We want the Grad at Grad value ‘Intellectually Competent.’ You will be around some of the most serious students in the school, and it will be a chance to learn new things, be open to growth, another Grad at Grad.”

Achieving Grad at Grad ideals is a vital part of the quiz bowl program, the goal above all goals. If you are interested in joining this top-class program, come to room 801 from 3:15 to 4:30 every day. 

Let’s go, SJ!