Kentucky Groger Ranks Write-Up: An Analysis

Note: This writeup is still based on the October 14 Groger Ranks. New Groger Ranks have been calculated, but will not be released yet until we sort with a stats issue pointed out to us. We hope to have new Groger Ranks by Friday.

The following article was a guest contribution by Mason Reid and Angus Maske

While the Groger Ranks focus on quiz bowl, and the bulk of this write up will also focus on quiz bowl, one or two sentences in each team’s analysis will be dedicated to the team’s potential in the state competition, Governor’s Cup, seeing as they are completely different formats, and it takes up a good amount of time in team’s practice. (For clarity: arts and humanities includes art, music, and RMP; social studies includes history, geography, current events, and social science.)

19 Henderson County A –

After a T-51 finish at HSNCT, Henderson County returns three starters, all seniors. The team is already proving to be as daunting as it was last year, with a top-bracket finish at the 2018 Scottie and a clean first place at UK Fall. DJ Banks is the team’s top scorer, and a top 10 history player in the country, as well as being a very strong player in arts and religion/myth. Harrison Jenkins is unquestionably the best literature player in the state, and is a contender for the top lit player in the country. Harrison can get very early powers at any level in lit, and rarely negs. The team’s third scorer, Alex Chandler, is a specialist in philosophy for the team in quiz bowl, and in Governor’s Cup, also specializes in computational math; he can also pick up some surprising science tossups. The team’s fourth spot is questionable, as the team lost their science specialist in Zach Bieckman. So far, Henderson has filled out this slot with sophomore Julianne Latimer and junior Wil Kyle.

28 Glasgow A –

Glasgow is hot off of a second consecutive SSNCT win and very impressive T-32 HSNCT finish last year and is already performing well this year with a strong second place showing at UK Fall. Although the team lost two very powerful starters in Rajeev Nair and Garrison Page, they retain one starter from last year in the form of senior Mason Reid. Mason is a juggernaut of a science major; very few players in Kentucky, or indeed in the entire Southern region, can challenge his dominance. Over the summer, he also expanded his reach further into mythology and arts and humanities, making him even more formidable. Mason is joined by his fellow seniors Daniel Dill and Parker Bannister, replacing Rajeev and Garrison (respectively). Both Daniel and Parker played intermittently on Glasgow A last year, with Parker being a part of the SSNCT champion team and Daniel taking an impressive ninth top scorer at the same tournament as a part of the B team. Glasgow A is rounded out by Matthew Polson, a music and philosophy specialist capable of some very nice powers in areas that might otherwise go unanswered by his teammates.

32 Dunbar A –

Another team with a T-51 placement at HSNCT, Dunbar retained almost all of their core players. The team’s science specialist, Shashank Bhatt, also has a strong background in math, and can get strong buzzes at any level. Angus Maske and Max Bograd are both strong generalists, and can get buzzes in social studies, arts and humanities, as well as literature. Max and Angus are both highly consistent players, putting up strong numbers across all subject areas. These three form the core of the Dunbar team, and had over 90 ppg between them at HSNCT, as well as each participating in 2018 NASAT. Aneesh Kadambi rounds out Dunbar, and is a specialist in geography, current events, and history. With the three Dunbar seniors and Aneesh, you can expect Dunbar to make strong runs in and out of the state. Another recurring member of the Dunbar A cast is Margaret Blair, a senior specializing in arts and humanities and niche RMP who generally covers the holes left by her teammates quite well. Unfortunately, the team appears to have trouble pulling all of their players together for tournaments, including both the Scottie and UK Fall, and generally ends up being filled out by members of the B team at many tournaments.

56 Dupont Manual A –

This year is a rebuilding year for Manual. After not playing in much of anything last year, Manual has already had strong showings in the two tournaments they have attended this year. Senior Jake Powell is possibly the best social studies player in the state, and usually dominates all NHBB events in the area. While not competing with the team much at all last year due to inactivity, Jake was the team’s top scorer at UK Fall this year. Jake is joined by senior Aditya Mehta, sophomore Murari Srinivasen, and sophomore Justin Xu, who specialize in science, arts and humanities, and literature respectively. The Manual A starters may not be finalized yet, but the Manual roster is deep, and they will be a contender at any tournament they attend, no matter the lineup.

60 Woodford County A-

Woodford County lost three-quarters of their starting lineup from last year,  but their newer players fill up the gaps fairly well. Senior Connor Akers is the team’s only returning starter. As a strong generalist, Connor was the team’s top individual at the 2018 Scottie, and will likely be for most of the season. Sophomore Keaton Martin put up impressive numbers at the Scottie as a strong arts and humanities player. Junior Logan Craig picks up social studies for the team, and sophomore Claire Pinkston focuses on literature. While young, the Woodford County team will be able to perform well, especially come crunch-time.

77 Simon Kenton A –

Simon Kenton returns only one starting player this year from their HSNCT 163rd place A team, but they’re likely to perform equally well or even better this year. This is due largely to senior Emily Girard, the only returning starter from last year. Even as a junior, though, Emily was the top scorer from Simon Kenton’s team, pulling in a very respectable 33.50 PPG at HSNCT as a solid generalist in arts and humanities, literature, and history. She appears to have increased her knowledge base even more over the summer, taking top scorer at the 2018 UK Fall tournament with a whopping 122.22 PPG. The team is rounded out by newcomers Brittany Ashley and Elizabeth Hindsdale.

79 Danville A –

The past two years, Danville has finished 2nd and 23rd at SSNCT. Senior Eli Gooch was on both of those teams, and is a strong lit player. Eli led Danville in scoring last year, and is poised to do so again. Junior Ben Link and sophomore Sofie Farmer also return from last year. Ben has knowledge in history, and Sofie is good in both arts and literature. Danville was rebuilding last year, but this year they are strong and will make a good run at SSNCT.

82 Middlesboro A –

New to the quiz bowl scene, Middlesboro finished 5th at UK Fall. They are led by junior Andrew Kelley, a dominant social studies player, despite his youth. Andrew placed in the Governor’s cup state test as a freshman, which is almost unheard of. Middlesboro is rounded out by Robby Griffey, Timothy Perkins, and Bishakha Kumari. These three support Andrew well in all the subject areas. Andrew’s depth of knowledge is going to be a huge factor in taking Middlesboro deep in state competitions, and possibly even SSNCT, which they are currently planning to attend.

86 Johnson Central A –

While not playing much quizbowl, Johnson Central is a very strong team. Senior Brandon Fairchild will be looked to to lead the team this year, and is a social studies major. Megan Owens is the team’s other starting senior, and specializes in arts and humanities.  Juniors Austin Cantrell and JT Dials round out the team, specializing in social studies and science, and both also do math for Governor’s Cup. While they don’t attend quiz bowl often, Johnson Central will still be able to put up very good numbers, and can be counted on to make a deep run at KAAC State.

87 Daviess County A –

Daviess is another team who doesn’t often compete in quiz bowl, but always puts up big numbers at Governor’s Cup. At the 2018 Scottie, senior Alec Phelps, a generalist with strong science knowledge, was the team’s leading scorer. He is accompanied by juniors Andrew Ellis (lit), Christian Vincent, and Noah Owen (math). The team will perform well at all the quiz bowl tournaments they decide to attend, and will be a contender  at Governor’s Cup.

92 Dunbar B –

Dunbar’s B team consists of a squad of juniors who have played consistently as the B team since their sophomore year. The team is headed by a double threat of Henry Blyth and Grace Goff, covering social studies and literature, respectively. Henry has remarkable depth in economics and American history, while Grace is a very solid all-arounder in literature, especially 19th Century lit. While Grace also occasionally picks up some biology, the majority of science tossups go to the team’s two rotating science majors, Amal Gondal and David Vulakh. Aneesh Kadambi, the usual A team fourth man, occasionally also rounds out the B team roster to form a very well-rounded group, although slightly lacking in arts and humanities. Despite a less-than-stellar 81st place finish at PACE NSC, Dunbar B shows significant promise in replacing the seniors currently on Dunbar A.

95 Blazer A –

After placing T-77 at HSNCT, Blazer graduated three seniors, including leading scorer Dawson Coovert, and science specialist Nate Rickman. The team will look to senir John Thomas and his lit prowess to lead the team to another respectable finish this year. Junior Logan Coovert is another player who will be able  to put up big numbers for Blazer this year. Logan is Dawson’s younger brother, and his arts and lit knowledge shows that. The players who may support Logan and John this year are seniors Shalayna Rice and Jessica Miller. Similar to last year, Blazer’s biggest weakness will be social studies, which could hurt them in NAQT tournaments where social studies is a primary focus.

96 Russell A –

Russell returns as a regional powerhouse in the 2018-2019 season. After a significant 7th place finish at SSNCT and Governor’s Cup championship by a very convincing margin last year, Russell A has a lot to live up to. Their entire quiz bowl team from last year graduated, but their replacements also have significant experience. The team is led by Maya Abul-Khoudoud, a senior literature major who fell just short of placing in the 2018 Governor’s Cup Language Arts exam and who has played an integral role on Russell’s B team in past years. She is supported by juniors Will Scott and Meredyth Wilson, as well as sophomore Jackson Raich, who showed an impressive 33.50 PPG at Scottie, compared to Maya’s own 35.50. Meredyth majors in arts and humanities and tied for fourth in the corresponding exam at 2018 Governor’s Cup, while Will and Jackson show significant overlap, with both being primarily based in social studies. The team notably lacks a science major, which may hurt them with science-powerhouse teams like Dunbar and Glasgow being in the same state.

This article was updated on October 19, 2018 to reflect that Andrew Kelley of Middleboro A is a junior, not a sophomore.
Mason Reid is currently a senior at Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Kentucky. Angus Maske is currently a senior at Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky.

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