Welcome to Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl!

Welcome to GPQB! If this is your first time here, you might be interested in “What is Quizbowl?” and “How do I start a Quizbowl team?

Current quizbowl players and coaches might want to check out our resources for “How to Get Better at Quizbowl.”

Looking for a tournament to play? Check out our tournament schedule for the upcoming year.

As always, feel free to comment on any post if you have any questions or feedback; we’re happy to help interested students or teachers with starting a new team at their schools. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @paquizbowl or email us at gpquizbowl@gmail.com.

GPQB End of Season Poll, 2021-2022

Friends,

Another year is behind us in the books. This was the 8th year of GPQB and the 7th year of our statewide poll. As we continue to come out of COVID, the circuit is in a state of flux with a lot of new and old faces taking the opportunity to excel. As our panel convened and voted, a record 18 teams received a vote, showing that the circuit is chock full of up-and comers. Without further ado, here is the 2021-2022 end of season poll:

  1. Great Valley A (120 Points, =, unanimous #1)
  2. Manheim Township A (108 Points, =)
  3. Cedar Crest (96 points, =)
  4. Moravian Academy (83 points, =)
  5. Wissahickon (56 points, +6)
  6. Henderson (50 points, -1)
  7. Downingtown STEM (41 points, +2)
  8. Winchester Thurston (38 points, u/r)
  9. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (27 points, -1)
  10. Great Valley B (15 points, u/r)

Also receiving votes were: Allderdice (7), Germantown Friends (6), Manheim Township B (5), Downingtown East (2), Friends Select (2), South Side (2), Berwick (1), and Emmaus (1).

We commend all these teams on their work this season! Seniors, enjoy what comes next, and underclassmen, we will see you next year!

-The Team

Voters in this poll were: Ryan Bilger, Aaron Cartwright, Emily Dickson, Eddie Furher, Ben Herman, Antonio Jimenez, Adam Kanterman, Andrew Nadig, Colton Sanden, Alex Sankaran, Steven Silverman, and Silas Wang.

2021-2022 GPQB Awards

Friends,

It is with pleasure we can announce this seasons’ GPQB awards for playing and coaching, adding more names to the growing ledger of PA quizbowl ledgends. These individuals flourished in another difficult season and lead teams, on the buzzer and off, to incredible success and national acclaim. There were many deserving candidates and it is wonderful to see these individuals represent Pennsylvania quizbowl. Without further ado:

Congratulations to AZ Faiz of Manhiem Township High School for winning Player of the Year for 2021-2022. Since middle school, AZ has been a top player and has repeatedly challenged himself and elevated his game with each new year. A strong literature and fine arts specialist, AZ also buzzes in other categories frequently and is consistently a top scorer at every tournament he plays. A member of Manheim Township’s 2020 state champion squad, AZ has spent the last two years leading his team to further commanding results.

Congratulations to Jacob Paciello of South Side High School for winning JV Player of the Year for 2021-2022. This sophomore phenom has emerged this year as one of the top players in the Pittsburgh area, leading his team to several strong finishes. Last weekend, Jacob scored nearly 100 points per game at small school nationals, leading South Side to an impressive 11th place in the Traditional Public Division. With Jacob at the center, South Side looks like they will be contenders for the next two years in Pittsburgh, and it is impressive to see young players take charge like this.

Congratulations to Shane Thomas of Cedar Crest High School for winning Coach of the Year for 2021-2022. As one of the state’s longest tenured coaches, Shane has led Cedar Crest through several strong campaigns, including finishing 11th place in Pennsylvania 2016, 6th in the state last season, and a current ranking of 3rd this season. Several players have gradually improved under his tutelage. Further, he has been a proponent of pyramidal formats and helped the Lancaster-Lebanon League develop as the model for a regional IU league. His dry sense of humor is much appreciated in staff lounges around the circuit.

Congratulations to all three of these individuals!

-The Staff

GPQB All State Teams, 2021-2022

Friends,

It’s time once again to honor our selections for Pennsylvania’s quizbowl all-state teams. This annual tradition honors the top players in the state, who have persevered through the pandemic to score well, flash in-depth knowledge across categories, and excel on and off the buzzer. We congratulate them all on their hard work and wish them continued success (especially those playing HSNCT). Without further ado:

First Team All-State

  • AZ Faiz, Manheim Township High School
  • Anish Kodali, Great Valley High School
  • Danny Peelen, Cedar Crest High School
  • Joe Stern, Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh)
  • Divik Verma, Moravian Academy

Second Team All-State

  • Nolan Greenways, Great Valley High School
  • Vivek Inumella, Henderson High School
  • Eric Jackson, Moravian Academy
  • Jacob Paciello, South Side High School
  • Luca Ruggieri, Great Valley High School

Honorable Mentions

  • Charlie Chen, Friends Select School
  • Dean DeSeve, Germantown Friends School
  • Deeya Doshi, Manheim Township High School
  • Raffa Rothstien, Allderdice High School
  • Jenna Yaeger, Hempfield High School

We commend all these students on their hard work this season!

-The staff

Western Pennsylvania Quizbowl Update

[Although the GPQB founders are no longer posting regular updates, we are thrilled to publish contributions from members of the Greater Pennsylvania Quiz Bowl community. In this post, Lehigh University team member and Kiski Area HS graduate Eddie Fuhrer provides this overview of quizbowl in Western Pennsylvania this year. Please feel free to email us at gpquizbowl@gmail.com if you would like to have your article or post potentially featured here on GPQB.]

As February winds down, the Western Pennsylvania quizbowl circuit is officially 60% done with the tournaments currently planned for the season. The most-recent event, CMU’s Carnegie Quiz IV, took place on February 12th and saw 16 teams competing in the tournament formerly known as the Tartan Invitational. 

There’s still much more time for things to change and the gaps between teams in the circuit are still very close. I wanted to take a look at 7 of the most impressive teams so far and also provide an approximate ranking of the top 14 players in the Western Pennsylvania circuit this year 

One thing to note before we get to the rankings: there are still some Western PA teams who have some serious talent, but still have yet to play a tournament this season. Penn-Trafford, who won two of the last three Westmoreland County IU championships, are set to play their first in-person pyramidal tournament since 2017 at Allderdice this April. Also slated to play for the first time in a while are the winners of the 2020 Allegheny County IU tournament, Pine-Richland, who will play for the first time since the GPQB December Invitational last season. We welcome these teams back to the PA circuit and hope that others, including more teams from far Southwest and Northwest PA, come to more quizbowl events.

And now, the top 7 teams in Western PA so far in the 2021-2022 season:

1. Morgantown (WV) (29-2 at Pittsburgh tournaments, 25-1 vs circuit opponents)
Ever since their top bracket performance at the 2019 installation of SAGACITY, the honorary Pennsylvanians of Morgantown have been primed to overtake some of the circuit’s longtime powerhouses and contend for tournament wins. This is exactly what they have done this year, as the duo of their senior captain Celina Liang and standout sophomore Steven Tian have been an incredible duo for a team that seems poised for a great run at nationals and have looked nearly-unbeatable at local tournaments so far this year. Also keep an eye on junior Carter Herron who has been improving throughout the course of the season. Morgantown has won two tournaments so far and show no signs of slowing down at future events this season.  

2. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (24-7 at Pittsburgh tournaments, 24-4 vs circuit opponents)
After the departure of generalist Jude Sweeney, Joe Stern has emerged as the outright leader of scoring for a Pittsburgh Central Catholic team that for the past few years was always a step behind other Pittsburgh schools. This year, PCC is no longer the hunted and is now the team to beat when it comes to the schools from the city, with Joe averaging 24 powers per tournament so far this year. This Central Catholic team is one of the best in years and their bonus numbers are also backing that up, keeping up with very balanced teams inside and outside of the Western PA circuit. Also look out for returning sophomore James Sweeney developing throughout the season. 

3. Allderdice (19-4 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 17-4 vs circuit opponents)
When I was talking to an alumnus of the program before the season, I was assured that Allderdice’s team would be back near the top of the circuit this year; at the time, to be honest, I did not believe him. This alum’s faith has paid off so far this season as ‘Dice has rebuilt their lineup very quickly. Allderdice is the only team to have beaten both Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Morgantown this year and they have done it with a wide variety of scoring threats. One of the best, if not the best history player in the circuit, Naday Gilboa has teamed up with long-time teammate Teadora Gildengers to provide the best one-two punch this side of the Allegheny. Raffa Rothstein, who has been putting up absurd numbers on the B team, is one of the top players in Western Pennsylvania as well. Expect the Dragons to continue to be near the top of the standings as the season continues to close out. 

4. Winchester Thurston (17-10 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 17-6 vs circuit opponents)
After coming out hibernation through the COVID-affected 2020-21 season, Winchester Thurston is back where everyone expected them to be. One of the winningest programs in the state of Pennsylvania, Winchester Thurston still holds up well against the best teams in the circuit and their close win over Allderdice at Carnegie Quiz proved that the two longtime foes are still very interchangeable. Club president and veteran player Brian Salipante leads a balanced cohort of scorers who can hang with the best teams in the circuit on any given Saturday. Look for Winchester Thurston to continue rebounding and eventually push toward the top of the standings once again. 

5. South Side Beaver (19-14 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 17-9 vs circuit opponents)
For such a long time, the big 3 in Western Pennsylvania proper have been generally seen as Winchester Thurston, Allderdice, and Central Catholic. If that was the case before, South Side Beaver might be on their way to making it the big 4. They are an incredibly well-coached team as Coach McCoy and the rest of the school in Hookstown are really invested in quizbowl. Although the results took a while to catch up, now their investment is paying dividends and they are right on the level of Winchester Thurston and potentially even Allderdice. Jacob Paciello is arguably the one of the best, if not the best JV players in the state, with deep humanities knowledge that allows for the team to pick up huge wins including the one they got against Winchester Thurston back at Mellon Bowl. 

6. Bishop Canevin (15-16 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 12-15 vs circuit opponents)
Norwin and Bishop Canevin have split their season series so far, but I gave the nod to Bishop Canevin due to their better performance on bonuses and the standout performance this year from lan Lecker. Before one tournament in 2019, I remember Bishop Canevin’s coach who revived the program saying that she wanted to encourage her players to improve and study; now, Bishop Canevin is slowly but surely rising the ranks as a result of this commitment to the game. The Crusaders have been able to contend with teams like South Side and Norwin throughout the course of the year. Bishop Canevin, like South Side, is a great example of a team that is really elevated by dedicated coaching and even since the team was revived a few years ago continues to go up and up for the future. 

7. Norwin (8-15 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 8-14 vs circuit opponents)
Norwin last year, despite playing no tournaments, had the most impressive senior class of any school in Western Pennsylvania and that showed when they played in 2019-20. Despite losing some of the scoring to graduation, they have moved up their former B-teamers and have made the top bracket at both of the two tournaments that they have played so far this year. Junior Brady Johnson, who has been involved in Norwin’s program for years now has been joined by Nicholas Cormas for a scoring duo that has been able to play close games against top teams. They have had to play some very tough competition, with all 14 losses coming from the 6 schools ranked above them, but the future is bright for Norwin after losing their very promising senior class last year. 

Other Mentions (not in any order): 

Armstrong (7-4 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 7-4 vs circuit opponents)
I had to play many heated games against Armstrong in high school coming from their rival school, and it has always hard to deny the talent the River Hawks have on their team year in and year out even with the smaller sample size. Nolan Heilman, who I have gotten to see many times in league play and finally got to see the stats of at a tournament, has proven his might to Western Pennsylvania as he put up great stats at Carnegie Quiz including a 75 point round against Bishop Canevin. Coach Coil, who is one of the best in the business, is really putting together a team that continues to play good quizbowl up in Kittanning. 

Mt. Lebanon (47 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 4-7 vs circuit opponents)
After losing Jacob Terkel to the quizbowl team at Gettysburg College and captain Ben Brown, the Mt, Lebanon Blue Devils have had a year where a rising program had to change their lineup almost entirely. They’ve still managed to pick up some solid wins at Carnegie Quiz under the scoring duo of Vishnu Venugopal and Tessa Ternullo, so there is much to build on and be hopeful for in the future. 

Huntingdon (6-5 at Pittsburgh Tournaments, 5-5 vs circuit opponents)
The junior Aiden Kelsey has been a key part of a Huntingdon team that has played once so far within the circuit and twice at TQBA tournaments hosted out of Texas. The team has put up some impressive numbers so far and with a starting lineup with only one senior, it is safe to say that they could be pushing for the top 7 by next season. 

That is an overview of all of the teams in Western Pennsylvania as the circuit heads into its final two tournaments of the year. To conclude this post, I would like to provide my personal list based on the first three tournaments of ranking the top 14 players in the circuit so far:

1. Joe Stern (Pittsburgh Central Catholic) 2. Celina Liang (Morgantown) 3. Steven Tian (Morgantown) 4. Jacob Paciello (South Side Beaver) 5. Raffa Rothstein (Allderdice) 6. Carter Herron (Morgantown) 7. Brian Salipante (Winchester Thurston) 8. lan Lecker (Bishop Canevin) 9. Nadav Gilboa (Allderdice) 10. Teadora Gildengers (Allderdice) 11. Aidan Kelsey (Huntingdon) 12. Nolan Heilman (Armstrong) 13. Nicholas Blair (Winchester Thurston) 14. Brady Johnson (Norwin) 

It will be interesting to see if any of these players are in contention for either state all-star or state JV player of the year conversations at the end of the season as Western PA teams have much competition from Eastern side of the state as well. 

Does your school want to get involved in quizbowl as well? You can view upcoming tournament listings for the Pittsburgh region and beyond at both naqt.com and hsquizbowl.org

-Contributed by Eddie Fuhrer

GPQB Mid-Season Poll, 2021-22

Friends,

Welcome to 2022! The GPQB blog is entering its 9th calendar year of covering quizbowl and we are elated to still be with you. It’s time for another poll result. Here is the mid-season ranking going into the spring half of the season:

  1. Great Valley (89 points, 8 first place, =)
  2. Manheim Township A (82 votes, 1 first place, =)
  3. Cedar Crest (72 points, =)
  4. Moravian Academy (62 points, =)
  5. Hempfield (54 points, =)
  6. Henderson (45 points, +2)
  7. Downingtown East (32 points, +7)
  8. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (27 points, +5)
  9. Downingtown STEM (14 points, +2)
  10. Friends Select (13 points, -3)

Also receiving votes were Wissahickon (11) and Manheim Township B (4).

Good luck to all teams with their 2022!

Manheim Township Academic Challenge Wrap-Up (12/18/21)

30 teams were on hand for the latest edition of one of the state’s most storied tournaments this December, which ended in an absolutely wild finish. Props as always go out to coach Doll-Osterhout and the Manheim crew for running an exemplary event.

Stats can be found here.

Cedar Crest, longtime circuit bridesmaids, came home with their first ever Saturday Invitational win in an incredible overtime final. Their opponents were Delaware’s Tower Hill (alma mater of longtime friend-of-the-blog and PACE President Victor Prieto). The match was an uncanny mirror of the “Game of the Century,” which this writer dubbed the best match in PA quizbowl history many moons ago- a final at Manheim Township Academic Challenge, in which one team totaled a huge lead, another team came back, and the finale came down to pop culture. This time it was Tower Hill who built up a large lead of 165 to -10 after five questions. Cedar Crest then turned on all the jets to take the lead on tossup 15. Tower Hill would not go down easily, and had the chance to take the lead on the last tossup/bonus cycle. They came up one answer short of the lead, leaving it tied at 305 all. Tower Hill powered the first tossup of overtime, Cedar Crest followed with a 10, and then on the last tossup, Tower Hill negged and Cedar Crest sealed the deal. Game of the Century 2.0. What a fantastic win for Pennsylvania- and major kudos to Tower Hill for providing such stiff competition!

Maryland’s Centennial took 3rd with the best statistical record of the teams in every stat. Henderson and Hempfield tied for 4th. Henderson’s latest re-build looks to be entering the contending phase, with Vivek’s 68 ppg leading the way. Meanwhile, Zeke, Chase, and Liam all put up solid stats to support the returning production from Jenna on Hempfield. Both could make noise in the spring. Friends Select also made their first tournament of the year here, and while their playoff rounds went rough, they secured a spot in them to finish 6th.

In consolation, the continued emergence of Downingtown East as a potent force for the first time in a while continued, as they won the middle bracket with a 7-2 record. All 5 of their players exceeded 15 points per game. Wissahickon had their best tournament in years, finishing 6-3 and in 8th place. This is also the most promising season in a while from Berwick, who are a young team that might not have many wins to show yet, but have a ton of promise and might be the top Northeastern team this year. We also saw returns to the circuit for Lancaster Mennonite, Emmaus, Conrad Weiser, and Waynesboro. It was good to see all these folks back in action.

In the JV division, Hempfield B finished with the gold medal following an 8-1 record. Downingtown East C finished 2nd and Friends Select B took 3rd. Wissahickon B’s Vincent was the top scorer, with 63 points per game.

As we head into the New Year, we look forward to tons more quizbowl action in the Keystone State. Midseason poll soon!

Ben H.

SAGACITY XVI Wrap-Up (11/13/21)

14 teams were on hand to contest SAGACITY, the long running fall quizbowl tournament held by the University of Pittsburgh. The event had to move to an online format due to room reservation issues, but it was a nice competition day all around.

Stats can be found here.

Eastern PA stalwarts Manheim Township A cruised to a 7-0 record (plus two forfeit wins) and a tournament title. Missing their science specialist Kevin, the trio of AZ, Deeya, and Ellie combined for 52 powers in just 140 questions heard. They remain impressive in their ability to perform across the distribution and I think their strengths compliment eachother about as well as we’ve ever seen from Township teams. West Virginia’s Morgantown A finished 8-1 for second. Manheim Township B managed 3rd place. One disadvantage of the online format was that very distanced teams could play, so Connecticut’s Wilton B took 4th over local Pittsburgh area squads. Such is the game.

The playoff bracket was rounded out by Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Wilton A. PCC has established itself as the strongest team in the Pittsburgh area proper this year. Joe’s 110 ppg was quite impressive, and he is putting together a strong case GPQB All-State honors. In consolation, teams from South Side and Bishop Canevin performed admirably. South Side was buoyed by a 92 ppg performance from Jacob. Canevin was lead by Ian’s 65 ppg. Both teams clocked in about 16 points per bonus, making for an even match up.

Unfortunately, the tournament was disrupted by two teams, Winchester Thurston and DuBois, leaving after the morning rounds and creating unbalanced schedules full of forfeit wins. These are experienced programs that should know better. Quizbowl tournaments in PA always have two halves and it is not fair to deny other teams questions they paid to play opponents on. This being said, the event ran until 6:30. Tournaments should never run this late and my hope is the Pitt Team can learn from this to make a more efficient experience.

Overall, though, it’s nice to be quizbowling again. This season has proved PA quizbowl is still viable and far from gone.

Mellon Bowl XVIII Wrap-Up (10/30/21)

Western PA returned to in-person quizbowl at Mellon Bowl this Halloweekend, with one of the state’s oldest and most storied events returning. It was a strong day of competition with a lot of students getting their first taste of physically buzzing in. The event used an NAQT IS set for questions.

Stats can be found here: https://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament/standings.jsp?tournament_id=12776

The tournament ended in a three-way tie at 10-1 a piece between Allderdice A, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, and West Virginia’s Morgantown A. The Mountaineers were the statistically superior of the trio, with 20 ppb and 50 powers total. Meanwhile, Joe from Central Catholic led the tournament with 115 points per game, more than 40 points ahead of the next closest player. Allderdice was scrappy, pulling out several close wins behind the 1-2 punch of Nadav and Teodora.

Elsewhere, South Side A nabbed 4th. This is an ancient program by Pennsylvania standards with a long history, and this is one of their best finishes in years. Jacob notched 72 points per game and made his presence felt early in the JV player of the year race. Winchester Thurston, another PA quizbowl stalwart, returned to the buzzer after missing the pandemic year, finishing 5th. This tournament also marked the return of Norwin from a long absence on the circuit. They were one of the Pittsburgh area’s stronger quizbowl programs about 5 years ago, so it was really nice to see them back in action. Teams from Bishop Canevin and Huntingdon high school also competed. Every team but Morgantown C cleared 10 points per bonus, which shows healthy player growth for the Pittsburgh area teams.

Philly Fall Open 2021 Wrap-Up

In-Person quizbowl returned to the state of Pennsylvania with an east-west double-bill on Saturday, October 30th. The east say action at Friends Select School, who hosted the annual Philly Fall Invitational. It was a great time for all involved and kudos to Coach Lockey for running a great event and stressing COVID safety throughout. The tournament used an NAQT A set.

Full Stats are here: https://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/7100/

Great Valley A, fresh off their state title season, looks to be in championship form once again. They ran the table to an 11-0 record and have not lost to a team from the state of Pennsylvania since February 2020, notching 26 ppb. Anish remains a top player in the nation, with 91 ppg despite excellent teammates and a strong field. Sophomore Lucca was second on the team with 37 ppg in a breakout performance. GV was on cruise control for the rest of the day until the final, when Manheim Township A gave them a run for their money, losing by only 5 points in a thriller. Lead by 100 ppg even from AZ, Township had over 8 powers per game and looked consistently strong as we’ve come to expect from the program. Third place went to Cedar Crest A, who scored a statement win over Township in the Morning by 15 points. Last year’s JV player of the year, Danny, led the event with 101.5 ppg. Going into the season these look to be the top 3 teams in Pennsylvania. 4th place went to New Jersey’s Edison A.

In consolation, Moravian Academy A won 5th place with a balanced scoring attack and 22+ ppb. Despite losing last year’s Coach of the Year, Elissa Manlove, the team still looks potent. Downingtown STEM took 6th behind Yaduraj’s 70 ppg, 4th in the event. They look poised to have their first ranked finish since their title run in 2018. Teams from Henderson, Downingtown East, and Germantown Friends also competed, and we’re happy to have them back aboard.

In the JV division, New Jersey’s Middlesex Academy A swept the field. Downingtown East B was the best finishing PA team, coming in second. Teams from Carver HSES and the aforementioned PA schools above got great experience, with Kamal from Carver leading JV scoring among the Pennsylvanians at 55 ppg. This was the first time playing in-person quizbowl for many of the competitors, and it seemed live everyone was having a blast. Keep up the great work!

GPQB Pre-Season Poll 2021-22

Friends,

Yet another quizbowl season is upon us! We are excited to see how a (hopeful) resumption of some in-person tournaments plays out and which schools, new and old, will excel. The season can’t start without the traditional pre-season poll, of course, so without further ado, our pre-season poll!

1. Great Valley A (118 points, 10 first place)

2. Manheim Township A (110, 2 first place)

3. Cedar Crest (89)

4. Moravian Academy (87)

5. State College (64)

6. Hempfield (62)

7. Friends Select (36)

T8. Henderson (20)

T8. Manheim Township B (20)

10. Great Valley B (17)

Also Receiving Votes Were: Downingtown STEM (13), North Catholic (10), Pittsburgh Central Catholic (9), Downingtown East (3), Carver HSES (2), and Germantown Friends (1)

We salute all these teams for their quizbowl skill!

Voters in this poll were: Ryan Bilger, Carsten Brodbeck, Aaron Cartwright, Ben Herman, Antonio Jimenez, Andrew Nadig, Toby Palmer, Alex Sankaran, Colton Sanden, Steven Silverman, Will Yaeger, and Albert Zhang