Time to Take the National Pop-Quiz


Benet Academy

Benet Academy’s Scholastic Bowl team poses for a group picture.

As the student body hurtles towards the end of the current school year, the Benet Academy Scholastic Bowl team is actively preparing for its upcoming trip to Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of May to compete again in the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT). 2023 marks only the second time in school history, but the second year in a row, the Scholastic Bowl team has qualified for the national competition.

After coming in at 186th place in the entire country last year, this year’s team, which is returning four players from last year, has their sights on an even better showing with one year of national experience under their collective belts. Last year’s competition against teams across the country, from California to Pennsylvania, has left this year’s team with significant experience that can only help in its pursuit of success in Atlanta.

Led by senior captain Rohan Julka, this year’s team numbers 12 students across all four grade levels. A record number 7 of these students will be traveling and participating in the May national tournament. Led by their coach, Mrs. Dovalovsky, the Scholastic Bowl team’s season has seen significant progress and improvement in overall performance, highlighted by an upset victory over Waubonsie Valley High School at the Masonic Bowl tournament earlier this year.

These preliminary tournaments and contests have provided excellent practice and preparation for the team in anticipation of the upcoming battles they will face at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in May. They have also helped the team grow and learn new strategies to employ in future contests.

Overall, the team has been preparing via rigorous studying and memorizing topics, including science, mathematics, literature, and mythology, to ensure that they are prepared for any question that could come their way. With the increase in team size this year compared to last, the current Scholastic Bowl team is better equipped to field questions in rare and specialized categories, such as sports, video games, and pop culture.

Through weekly meetings, the team members have trained their muscle memory to hit their buzzers as fast as possible while honing their abilities to assess the risk and reward of buzzing in for a tossup question over a few mere milliseconds. Get the tossup question correct, and the team can answer follow-up questions for more points. Get the tossup question wrong, and the team agonizingly watches its opponent attempt to answer the questions to collect the points instead.

All in all, the persistent effort that the team has poured into this year’s pre-national season has not gone in vain. The team’s trials have transformed their talents into tactical tools to bring to the national tournament. “We’ve been training hard, and now, we are ready to make Benet Academy proud!” proclaimed captain Rohan Julka, and make Benet Academy proud, they will.