Dons Quiz Bowl Team Moves Up in National Ranking

The Dons Quiz Bowl team recently attended the PACE National Scholastic Tournament in Chicago, Illinois.  They competed as one of 96 of the nation’s elite teams and came out with 63rd, a stunning improvement from their 76th seeding.

Quiz Bowl consists of rounds of 20 pyramidal questions in which two teams of four buzz in to score points.  The questions begin extremely difficult and get harder and players are rewarded for answering earlier.  Subjects range from science, literature, history, math, mythology, and more, with a focus on academic subjects.

Players typically specialize in one subject so that they can answer questions earlier.  The team consisted of history/geography player and captain Keoni Rodriguez ’17, literature player Noah Crousore ’17, chemistry player Bradley Sweeney ’17, computer science/literature player Jorge Martin ’18, religion/mythology player Paulina Nguyen ’19, and biology/literature player Dominic Sprigg ’19.

This year was the first time ever that a Dons academic team has gone to a Nationals tournament and they made a splash in their debut appearance on the national stage.  The team played 7 preliminary rounds in the morning, coming out 2-5.  They moved onto Tier III for playoffs, playing several close games and moving on with a 2-3 record in playoffs.  On Sunday, the team played three superplayoff rounds, unfortunately dropping the last game to buzzer races and ending with 2-1 for a total record of 6-9, earning them 63rd, overcoming a prediction of 76th.

The Dons now belong to a rich tradition of competitive Southern California quiz bowl teams in the national arena.  Westview was able to finish win a tiebreaker on the last question to clinch a 2nd place finish.  La Jolla pulled off several upsets to storm into a 7th place, while CCA A narrowly lost a tiebreaker to finish 13th.  Rancho Bernardo finished 41st and CCA B finished 43rd.

The tournament was a substantial piece of progress for Cathedral’s academic teams, so be sure to look out for future success for the Dons in the realm of competitive academics.

If you are interested in joining, contact Coach Dan Dahms at or 2017-2018 captain Jorge Martin at

Written by: Keoni Rodriguez, ’17

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