Updated: Feb 28
Ever since the terrible defeat against Eastlake as the first game of the year, the Otay Ranch Academic League Varsity team has been looking for a chance at redemption while JV has been trying to keep up its winning streak. Luckily, two weeks prior, the Academic League battled Castle Park, a team it had historically fared well against, and won both varsity and JV matches. The ultimate score for JV was 335 ORH - 210 CPH, a wonderful job! The score for the varsity match was 300 ORH - 150 CPH, a considerably narrower gap between both teams compared to last year. Indeed, it seems the Castle Park varsity has improved significantly while the Otay Ranch varsity still maintains some dominance.
Furthermore, last Thursday, our team fought against the Southwest High School Academic League teams. This time, the stakes were much higher as SOH was traditionally a much better school than Castle Park and had faster buzzers. Although Southwest gave a valiant effort, the Otay Ranch Varsity ultimately won in the end with our JV team losing by 15 points, roughly equivalent to one question. The final score for the JV game was 280 ORH - 295 SOH while for varsity we won with over 100 points and to spare 440 ORH - 305 SOH. The Otay varsity seems to have done much better this time with Southwest than last year or the year before that. Hopefully, this trend of success and improvement will continue and we will be able to match our greatest rivals – Olympian and Eastlake.
To clarify, Academic League is synonymous with Quizbowl, a game in which two opposing teams battle to see who can buzz in the most and the quickest for various trivia questions. A question is asked by a moderator and individuals on both teams rush to answer as quickly as possible. Toss-up questions are worth 10 points each, and three related bonus questions also worth 10 points each are asked as a reward for answering a toss-up correctly. A variety of questions are asked, any lovers of history, geography, philosophy, chemistry, biology, or pop-culture would fare very well in the games.
The Otay Ranch JV was completely outplaying Castle Park in the first half of the game, but CPH slowly played catch-up and the final score was not too distant. Some notable performances for the JV team are Garrett Bice and Tomi Salami, scoring remarkably well for newcomers. Both are Freshmen and social-studies experts but are not afraid to answer any science questions should it be necessary. Salami and Bice each won the JV team five toss-up questions which, in turn, allowed for 30 bonus questions total to be given to our JV team. Matthew S. also answered two questions while Sean L. answered one, all toss-ups were answered by the starting line-up of five (Rishab K, Tomi S, Garrett B, Sean L, and Matthew S).
Much like JV, Otay Ranch varsity also was dominating but the slow-but-steady point build-up of CPH lessened the gap between the scores. Yechan Kim, yours truly, answered eight out of the fourteen total toss-up questions answered by varsity while the runner-up, Yechan Park, answered three. It may be an act of God that the only two Yechans in the school should both be the top scorers for this match. Moreover, Yechan Park is the only sophomore in the Otay Ranch Academic League Varsity, as he has demonstrated capability to outplay some Juniors or even Seniors. Nimai Kasibatla, the President and Captain of Academic League, Kyle Flores, and Dylan Lusung answered three total toss-up questions. All-in-all, ORH varsity achieved a well-earned victory.
The JV match against Southwest was almost anxiety-inducingly close, as Otay dominated the first half of the match but SOH consistently played catch-up. JV was many points ahead when we lost our streak, and we must give credit to the opposing team for getting the “Medusa” question based on the prompt that her blood formed corral in the ocean after dying, surely that is obscure. Once more, we see Garrett Bice and Tomi Salami dominate the match with each getting seven and three points, respectively. Sean L. and Rishab K., in total, won the Otay Ranch JV three toss-ups. Overall, the JV team fared fairly well, only losing by about one question, and are sure only to improve.
The Varsity fared much better, and at one point during the match Southwest had -10 points (answering two questions wrong) compared to Otay which was at around 100. Unlike Castle Park, no one man answered the majority of the questions. The winner of the toss-up competition was close, but in the end Yechan Park answered six while Yechan Kim answered five. Even more remarkably, Yechan Park answered two bonus questions, one on the Minute Waltz and one on Chopin, with a complete guess! Yechan Kim answered a Nietszche question within five or so seconds after the moderator said “tightrope” (as he knew of the tightrope analogy in the beginning of Thus Spoke Zarathustra).If Sangjun Hong’s recordings are accurate, Ethan Paris answered two toss-ups and Amelia contributed one. The rest of the varsity team contributed immeasurably with the toss-ups which enabled our team to score so well against Southwest.
Curiously, unlike Castle Park, the team had some great cooperative energy. The answering of questions was much more spread out, so that no one man dominated the entire match. The team also corrected other’s mistakes, for example, a certain Yechan Kim may have accidentally answered “Wozniak” instead of “Steve Jobs” on a certain bonus, the team quickly corrected him and our captain answered correctly. Seriously, Yechan Kim needs to pay more attention.
Hopefully, this week’s match against Montgomery High School will produce similar results, but the main goal of Academic League matches always is to have fun; furthermore, every team, no matter the sport, must lose some and win some matches, that’s half the fun of competition (unless you are Otay Ranch Cross Country or Olympian Quizbowl). We wish Montgomery the best and hope they prepared well this weekend. Have a great week Mustangs!