High-Q is a quiz show for high school students. A team is comprised of 4 students answering questions on all things academic, current events, pop culture, music, etc. I try to build the teams based on their combined knowledge, making it as all inclusive as possible. My team is open to any and all students who are interested. I have practices on Mondays and Fridays at lunch and keep track of how many questions students answer. Those that answer the most have the best chance to make the “A” team which would be our varsity team. The next highest group will be the “B” team. There is no class for High-Q, thus the students do all their prep and practice on their own time. They are a very competitive and dedicated group. I also provide study materials in the form of books and recommended educational TV like History Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Channel, etc.
We start our season in August of each school year. The goal is to win the local television tournament sponsored and shown on KCOS (episodes air on Sundays at 10:00 and 10:30 AM). This KCOS tournament features all of the high schools in the county in a double-elimination format, which starts in September and runs through April. If you win this tournament (which my A-team did) you qualify for nationals. The format that is used divides the game into three rounds. The first and third are identical: a toss-up question is asked where anyone from either team can buzz in and answer. If correct, your team gets to hear 3 bonus questions allowing you to earn points while the other team is frozen out. The second round consists of 1 minute to answer up to 10 fast questions on a related topic.
Also, there are 4 weekend tournaments during the year that are done at Ysleta High School. Two tourneys occur in the fall semester and two in the spring semester. A team that wins any of these tournaments can also qualify for Nationals. Our A-team won 2 of the tourneys, while our B-team won one of the tourneys. Thus Coronado qualified both teams for Nationals.
The National Academic Championship (NAC) is run by Questions Unlimited (qunlimited.com). Due to the large amount of schools that attend, the NAC is split into 3 National Tournaments — New Orleans, Washington DC, and Chicago. The winners of these 3 tournaments then can face off in the Best of the Best finals held at Chicago upon completion of that National Tournament. The NAC uses a slightly different format than we use at KCOS. They have a 4-quarter format. In the first, only toss-ups are asked and the fastest correct response gets the points. In the second, toss-ups are asked followed by a series of bonus questions; however if you miss a bonus, the other team gets the opportunity to answer for the points. The 3rd is a lightning just as KCOS. The 4th is the same as the 1st, only the difficulty of the questions increases.
Coronado entered 2 teams in the Washington, DC Nationals. Both the A-team and B-team finished with a record of 4-2 in the preliminaries, thus qualifying for the knockout stages. Our A-team lost a close one to Delaware Valley (PA) in the sweet 16 play-in. Our B-team pulled out a victory against Bennett (NY)in the sweet 16; then in the quarterfinals beet Irvington (NY) on a sudden death overtime question; then beat Lenape (NJ) in the semifinals; but finally succumbed to the eventual champion Horace Greeley (NY) in the finals. It was a record setting run for a B-team.
A-Team (Captain: Victor Martin, Nicolas Quintana, Shreja Tahiliani, Fernando Rojo)
B-Team (Captain: Michael Pannell, Ryan Sharma, Andrew Paton, Luke Minton)
l to r: Ryan Sharma, Michael Pannell, Luke Minton, Andrew Paton, Coach Matthew Ballway