The Liberty University Quiz Bowl team fought hard during the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) Sectional tournament February 8-10, placing 8th in its region and defeating its first-ever Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams.
According to Dr. James Nutter, the quiz bowl team coach, Liberty played well and placed respectably, but the biggest achievement of the tournament was the victory over three well-known schools — University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina and Auburn University.
Beating large SEC schools like this shows that Liberty’s team is capable of competing against the best schools in the nation, according to Nutter.
“It demonstrates that Liberty’s students are highly intelligent and extremely knowledgeable,” Nutter said.
Although these wins are a boost for Liberty, Nutter said that the biggest accomplishment that Liberty’s Quiz Bowl team has achieved was beating the University of Virginia 365-205 in September 2012.
“Beating Kentucky was probably my second favorite win of the season, especially since they had beaten us before,” Nutter said.
According to Nutter, the Quiz Bowl team wants to keep improving so that it can face off against harder schools and make it to the largest tournaments in the nation.
“Next year, we want to play in the northern NAQT sectional tournament, where we can compete against some Ivy League schools in our quest to play in the national quiz bowl tournament in Chicago,” Nutter said.
The Liberty Quiz Bowl team is made up of 15 to 20 people arranged into three separate groups, according to Nutter. There is a varsity team, a junior varsity team and a novice team. Nutter said that the team is always looking for intelligent people knowledgeable in the areas of science and sports.
According to Nutter, a winning strategy is based around the team dynamic. Team members must get along and be intricately familiar with each other in order to achieve the best results.
“The key is chemistry. The players need to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and the captain needs to evaluate the players’ responses and quickly choose what he thinks is the correct answer,” Nutter said.
For first year quiz bowl team member Jon Bateman, it is not all about the academic side of the game.
“My favorite aspect of being on the team is camaraderie,” Bateman said. “After practice, the team usually goes to dinner. While driving to tournaments, we all discuss anything and everything from Disney movies, to Lord of the Rings, to political theory. Everyone gets along really well.”
Team captain Jake Rogers, a four-year veteran of the team, will graduate this year. Nutter said that Rogers was an excellent captain, and now that he is moving on, it will soon be time to select a new individual to fill his role on the varsity team.
Those interested in seeing the quiz bowl team in action can attend the team’s upcoming on-campus tournaments this month. For more information about the Quiz Bowl team, contact coach Dr. James Nutter at email@example.com.