CJ's varsity quiz bowl team competed against Ohio's best on Saturday, April 24 at the State Regionals. The team placed 4th out of 17 teams, falling to the two teams who will advance to State Finals on May 1--Walnut Hills and Sycamore schools. This is the fifth year that CJ's team has competed in State Regionals out of its six-year history. "This is the furthest that we've ever been in the Regional, we've just never made it to the final round," said moderator, Jim Sparrow.
"It was a great season, and we did place higher this year than other other Catholic high school in our region."
The 2009-10 season ended with all three teams finishing without a loss in their league: Varsity 11-0; 1st Reserve 6-0; and 2nd Reserve 4-0, with Varsity capturing its fourth straight GCAL Championship on February 23, 2010. The team won the Regional qualifier March 13 at the Cincinnati State Open Tournament where they were pitted against league rivals as well as public schools.
"We knew we were going to see some pretty good Cincinnati schools," said Sparrow. "They were pretty close matches. We beat Lakota West by one point to go finals."
State Regionals are set up for 16 teams to run against each other in elimination rounds. CJ's team qualified for State by winning the winter tournament, though the team would have been eligible as GCAL champions.
Sparrow said that his personal goal as moderator and goal for the team this year was one in the same, "I'd like to win the State Championship." And every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school started, the team convened to sharpen their playing skills and test their knowledge on bits of information cross-curriculum and cross-culture.
When CJ does claim the State Championship trophy as its own, Sparrow joked that he would reevaluate his position as moderator of the team. "After all," he said, "Jim Brown and Rocky Marciano quit when they were on top."
However, it doesn't seem like retirement from quiz bowl is in Sparrow's near future. With or without the big win this year, he already has his eye on promising championship talent from this year's sophomore class.