Here are the 9 players selected for the All-World First Team. The final member will be announced tomorrow
Sam Blizzard, Northmont A
Blizzard is concluding a fine career in high school quiz bowl, guiding Northmont to its third straight NAQT Ohio State Championship this year, in addition to finishing 2nd in a stacked Texas Invitational field for the NAQT portion. Improving on last year’s finishes of 7th at NSC and tied for 21st at HSNCT is obviously the team’s goal, and Sam has the talent to make that happen, as shown by finishing first in individual scoring at the last two NAQT HSNCTs and second at the last PACE NSC.
Alston Boyd, Bloomington A
Boyd, finishing his senior year at Bloomington High School in Illinois, has improved his entire time in high school quiz bowl – he started by scoring 39.29 PPG on the 2011 SCOP set, progressed to 59.46 PPG at last year’s PACE NSC, and then leading the Purple Raiders to just missing the top bracket at an amazingly deep NAQT Illinois State Championship.
Austin Foos, Detroit Catholic Central A
Jack Watts, Detroit Catholic Central A
It’s hard to separate these two players for the #1 team in the country entering the nationals season. With these two leading the way, DCC finished tied for 22nd at this year’s ACF Nationals. ACF Nationals, if you’re not that familiar with quiz bowl, is one of the two national championships for college teams. They tied with MIT’s B team and McGill University, and finished above the likes of NYU, the University of Washington, UCLA, Liberty University and Ohio State University, amongst others. With Second Team member Conner Reynolds, these two helped guide DCC A to a 14th place finish at last year’s PACE NSC. I’d be shocked if they didn’t improve on that finish this year.
Gabriel Guedes, Richard Montgomery A
The lead scorer on last year’s RM team that finished tied for 8th at HSNCT and was only eliminated by the eventual third place team, LASA B, Guedes also finished 16th in individual scoring at last year’s PACE NSC while helping RM place 25th at the NSC. Guedes’ strong play helped guide RM to tournament championships this year including the John Hopkins Invitational and the Blair Spring Tournament, and played a strong role in helping the Mid-Atlantic be stronger than it has in a couple of years.
Nirav Ilango, Chattahoochee A
Last year, Nirav was the lead scorer as Chattahoochee reached the top ten at HSNCT and 13th at NSC. This year, his team easily won the Division II GATA State Championship as well as the Walton Academic Challenge, the Winter Invitational Tournament, and the GATA Fall Tournament’s North site. Nirav was the premier southern player this season and should help Chattahoochee have do well at this year’s NSC and HSNCT.
Evan Pandya, Auburn A
The lead scorer for the 2015 NAQT Illinois State Champions, Pandya was also #1 in scoring for last year’s 13th place team at HSNCT and 12th place team at NSC. Pandya’s Knights also won ATROPHY, Loyburn, the Huskie Bowl, New Trier Varsity and the Illinois high school mirror of ACF Fall. With both Pandya and Timmerlake, Auburn is undoubtedly a threat to win any match they play.
Kevin Wang, Arcadia A
The top player in California, Kevin Wang made an impact last year as part of the Arcadia team that finished tied for fifth at the NAQT HSNCT. Wang improved over the summer and helped Arcadia win five local tournaments (by my count) this season. Wang and the rest of the Arcadia players could have a tremendous impact at this year’s NSC and HSNCT.
Connor Wood, Maggie Walker A
Yet another great player in the history of Maggie Walker quiz bowl, Connor Wood was the leading scorer on last year’s MW teams at NSC (17th place) and HSNCT (tied for 5th). Wood’s continued improvement, along with those of his teammates, has made MW a serious title contender this year and helped them win two of VCU’s regular season high school events as well as the Western Albemarle Invitational, the New Kent Kickoff Tournament and the Class 2A VHSL State Championship.