Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
February 3rd, 2005
Quiz Team


Whimpering out of Quiz Team

I apparently missed it in my cursory glance last night, but Sean Barber wrote about the Quiz Team in the latest Blueprint issue, under the title “Quiz Team Rebounds.” If you’ve been paying attention to the regular Quiz Team posts I’ve been publishing here, you’ll know how big a deal that statement is this year.

Read on for some reflections on my Quiz Team career, now that it’s winding down…

What got me to finally read the article was when James Ficker told me that I hadn’t been mentioned in it. That’s alright with me, since I wouldn’t expect the Blueprint to publish the full Quiz Team roster – all 15 or so of us. But I was struck by how the article began:

The St. Xavier Quiz Team, despite starting no seniors for the first time in its 30 year history, looks poised to finish league play in the GCAL strong, and make a deep run into the state title for the first time since 1997.

It has always troubled me that for almost my entire time at St. X, I’ve been the only Quiz Team member from the Class of 2005. James Ficker was able to join us for the 2002-03 season, but when compared to other classes that provide eight good players each year, my class has always seemed to prove itself a letdown.

It must’ve often troubled Mr. Hussong that I of all people was the only one who stuck around. Often I’m unable to attend practices, and when I do, it becomes clear that I don’t “study our sheets,” as Mr. Hussong put it in yesterday’s article. (I have my own ways of studying, like watching Jeopardy! excessively…)

What the article didn’t mention (through no fault of their own), is that this year, Mr. Hussong is deciding whether to start us on Varsity by tallying up how many times we show up for practice. As it turns out, I often have to miss practice for family reasons: I have to get home in time to supervise my younger brother. When I can attend practice, however, I do. (Though I usually get grief from my parents for doing so.)

So this year we’re starting out every Varsity game with a full slate of juniors (very good ones at that). And this year we’ve lost two games – the first league losses in the team’s entire history.

The irony is that last year, even though I started a few Varsity games – played them from beginning to end, in fact – we never lost a Varsity game. When I played essentially full-time at the Northmont tournament last weekend, the only close match we played was against Milford (albeit deathly close!).

I’ve done well for a Quiz Team member, playing JV full-time since freshman year (including at tournaments like Northmont). But this is the way my time with the Quiz Team ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper. It seems to be my style.


  1. When I finally get my way, things go horribly awry. The Quiz Team played McAuley on all three levels today. Varsity didn’t fare so well, getting lost in a quagmire of obscure questions, JV