The Detroit Catholic Central Academic Team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia May 27, emerging victorious as the national champions at the High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) of the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT). The win secures the program’s fifth national championship win and first HSNCT Championship win since 2001.
The HSNCT is NAQT’s premier high school event, held at each school year’s end and featuring the top quiz bowl teams from across the nation, expanding in recent years to further reaches of the globe.
Five Catholic Central academic teams competed throughout the weekend at the tournament held May 27-29 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and Hilton Atlanta.
The varsity A team, consisting of Drew Laroo ‘22, Liam Cross ‘22, Michael Yousif ‘22, and Will Carstens ‘23, qualified for the double-elimination playoff tournament by finishing the preliminary matches with an 8-2 record, including wins over #46 Adlai Stevenson High School (Illinois), #43 Ladue High School (Missouri), #18 Illinois Math and Science Academy, and #19 Beavercreek (Ohio).
During the playoff rounds, the varsity A team won an overtime game against #31 Cinco Ranch (Texas) and a game on the last question against #8 Carmel (Indiana). After suffering a setback against East Chapel Hill (North Carolina), the team rebounded with a last-question win against #1 Arcadia (California), with co-captain Liam Cross ‘22 clinching all three games on the deciding question. That win secured a position in the semi-finals and a rematch against East Chapel Hill, which the A team won 455-230 to punch a ticket to the finals.
In a rematch of the 2017 HSNCT finals, the varsity A team faced #3 Hunter (New York). CC, by virtue of having 1 loss in the playoffs to Hunter’s 0 losses, would need to win two games to claim the championship. The A team won game 1 decidedly 470-275. The second game was an intense back and forth game. With one minute left on the clock, senior co-captain Drew Laroo answered correctly and put the game out of reach 380-295 to secure the program’s national championship win.
Catholic Central sends its congratulations to students and coaches, English Teacher Mr. Christopher Gismondi, Social Studies Teacher Mr. Ben Herman, and Languages Teacher Mr. Anthony Cornish.