T-Bird Brains migrate to Atlanta

01 March 2016
Tasha Riggins

Fifth National Quiz Bowl Appearance for T-Birds

T-bird Quiz Bowl team members Joshua Timme (Left) and Austin Naramore (Right) listen to a question during the 2016 NAQT National Community College Quiz Bowl Tournament.

The Cloud County Community College Thunderbird Brains made their fifth appearance in a National Quiz Bowl Tournament over the past weekend, Finishing in an eventual tie for 23rd place but coming home with three wins, tired minds and tired bodies as well as a great learning experience.  The competition included two year college teams from across the central and southern regions of the United States comprised from regional competition champions and additional invited wild card challengers.

After a 16 plus hour drive to Atlanta, Georgia the T-Bird Quiz Bowl team participated in the 8th annual Community College 2016 National Quiz Bowl Tournament. The Bird Brains had a rough start to the two day event as extended delays in driving brought on some mental fatigue from a long trip, coupled with an opening round of playing the overall second seed in the tournament, State College of Florida-Manatee the T-Birds stumbled  345-10.  Coach Todd Leif noted “I felt that the driving, the delays, and the long trip in a van were going to make it hard to compete at our best level and the luck of the draw to start out by playing the second best team in the country wasn’t going to be an easy task” The T-Birds couldn’t bounce back the rest of the evening as they lost their first five matches and closed out the evening at 0-5. “We definitely had a chance in game two against Chipola College (14th Seed) and then again in the evenings final round where we got beat 160-180 by Central Florida (7th Seed) on the final questions of the round. Getting a win in either of these matches might have really changed the tournament outcome.” Leif said.

Saturday’s competition day was much better for the bird brains as a good night’s sleep and a hardy breakfast reenergized the Birdbrains and helped push them to a 3-3 record on Saturday.  “We really should have beaten a team from Johnson County and the one from South Florida CC. They were both real “cheese melters” as they were also each lost in the final question of the final round” Leif stated. “Potentially, we could have finished with up to 6 or 7 wins which would have placed us in right in the hunt with the 10th place team from Redland Community College the winner of the Kansas-Oklahoma regional held in January at Cloud County.” Both Redlands and Johnson County’s A team finished tied for 10th two teams that the Thunderbirds have wins against earlier in this Quiz Bowl season.  The birdbrains will get another shot at the club from Johnson county in another month when Kansas Wesleyan University Hosts the Kansas Academic Excellence Challenge State competition in April. “Hopefully the squad learned something from the experience and we can knock off the current defending champion in Kansas. Going to a big national event like this was quite eye-opening for the group and I am sure they were amazed as I was at some of the levels of students that are out there in a community college setting.”

Team member for this year’s club included a Kansas only line up with leading scorer Austin Naramore, Quenemo, Joshua Timme, Concordia, Joshua Thomas, Russel, Adam Bell, Simpson, and Rodney Coon of Herrington. Official statistics from the tournament can be found at the NAQT website www.naqt.com.

- story courtesy of Quiz Bowl sponsor Todd Leif