Quiz Bowl Team Qualifies for NAQT National Championships


Photo By Chloe Nguyen

Quiz Bowl Team practicing with Coach Jason Zuffranieri

Hayden Sampson

During his first year at Greenhill, Math Teacher and Quiz Bowl Coach Jason Zuffranieri is leading his team to the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT). The tournament will take place in May 2023 in Atlanta.

“This is the most prestigious national tournament in the game,” Zuffranieri said.

He appeared on the popular game show “Jeopardy” in July 2019, winning over half a million dollars and 19 consecutive games.

The team received a spot after they tied for the third-place finish in the St. Mark’s School of Texas Invitational. The team finished with an 8-3 record, which ranked them above Coppell High School, Cistercian Preparatory School and two magnet schools.

The starting lineup consists of freshmen Aaron Kuang and Kate Ponnambalam and is led by juniors Iyad Mohammed and Nikky Nandipati.

Two members finished in the top 10 overall: Ponnambalam in ninth and junior captain Nandipati in third.

Last year’s “A Team” had three seniors graduate last year, but finished in the top 15 at Nationals.

Qualifying for nationals is an accomplishment, according to Zuffanieri, but the team wants to perform as well as possible at the event.

“Qualifying is pretty common, especially for a strong program like ours,” Zuffranieri said.

The team practices every Thursday after school, and during club rotation three. The team is preparing to practice even harder with Nationals coming up.

“To prepare for nationals, we intend on playing in more tournaments and stepping up the difficulty of the questions in our practices the closer we get to [the championship],” Zeffranieri said.

The next big tournament coming up is in Houston.

“We are hoping to send a team or two to Houston in about a month for an in-person tournament that looks to be very competitive,” Zuffranieri said.