Jubilant Juniors Triumph at Quiz Bowl

Buzz! The audience’s roars simmered to murmurs as a contestant slapped their buzzer. Students held their breath as they waited for Mr. Gilden to deliver the verdict: right or wrong?

If it was right, the audience’s rollicking roars resumed. Names were chanted. Members of opposing grades groaned, but contestants smiled triumphantly. The auditorium felt like MSG during a close playoff game, but there were no basketballs in sight. This was North High’s spirit week quiz bowl.

In round one, freshman competitors were Sasha Rubin, Tyler Brechner, Ben Rubin, and Jordan Mayorga. Sophomore representatives were Hannah Fishman, Zachary Ziegler, Alexander Khazzam, and Shifan He. For the Juniors, Lance Hakimian, Jackson Benjamin, Katherine Smolens, and Ari Lissack competed. Finally, the senior participants were Shaina Zargari, Arielle Mueller, Brian Tsai and Marcus Peng.

The participants in round two of Spirit Week’s quiz bowl competition wait for Mr. Gilden to read the first toss-up.

Anticipation in the air, the Quiz Bowl commenced as the first “toss up” question was asked while juniors quickly took the lead. Correctly answered by junior Ari Lissack, the “toss up” was followed by a set of three bonus questions. 

After another series of correct answers by the juniors, the seniors answered their first question incorrectly. However, instead of penalizing them for interrupting the question with an incorrect response, Mr. Gilden chose to alter Quiz Bowl’s rules, giving the seniors a chance to revise their answer. Unsure of the correct answer, the seniors rejected Gilden’s offer.

As the game continued, sophomores in the audience began to groan after their team incorrectly answered a series of questions. However, when it seemed as though all hope was lost for the class of 2022, sophomore Zachary Ziegler answered the seventh toss up. “Family guy,” he confidently stated. After words of confirmation from Mr. Gilden, the sophomores erupted in cheers, chanting in celebration.

Continuing his team’s winning streak, junior Jackson Benjamin was on a roll as he answered another “toss up” correctly, giving three consecutive correct answers after correctly answering a couple of bonus questions about baseball league history. Easily the longest streak in the first half of Quiz Bowl, the juniors had set themselves up for success.

Juniors Zach Ahdoot, Ariel Asherian, Adam Sanders, Jared Astrof, and freshman Jack Brenner listen to Mr. Gilden as he reads a question.


Aside from their own merit, the competitors felt a boost from the passionate audience: “I walked up on stage nervous, but seeing the crowd and how into the game they were gave me the confidence needed to take home the W [sic] for us juniors. Really great fun overall,” said junior Ari Lissack.

When the round came to an end, the freshmen were left with zero points, and the sophomores not too far ahead with 5. However, the juniors and seniors were not too far apart with the juniors in the lead with 150 points while the seniors slightly behind with 70. 

After committing a wallopping of their opponents in round one, the juniors made one thing clear to begin round two: the Class of ‘21 was not done. 

The next round of Quiz Bowl’s participants came on stage. For the Freshman, Evan Shmelkin, Chris Chang, Nikita Soleimany, and Giselle Makhani. For the Sophomores: Kevin Khadavi, David Zeng, Greg Leung, and Jason Mei. For the juniors, Adam Sanders, Jared Astrof, Ariel Asherian, Zach Ahdoot. For the Seniors, Judah nourielian, Adam Tsou, Sean Eliassi, Luca Sharbani. 

Junior Adam Sanders answered the first toss up correctly, while junior Ariel Asherian successfully answered two of the three bonus questions. As buzzers were smacked and competitors answered the toss-ups, the audience followed along in cheers, chants, and, in the rare event an answer was wrong, groans. 

Further along in the competition, a friendly quiz bowl quarrel seemed to come about. Junior Adam Sanders and senior Adam Tsou consecutively answered questions in a row for their respective classes. 

Although the two Adams dominated much of the round, there were some shining moments for the underdog underclassmen. 

Sophomore Kevin Khadavi interrupted the junior-senior battle for first place by answering the fourth toss-up correctly. The sophomores also correctly answered all three bonus questions correctly, perhaps providing a glimpse into the future of North’s Quiz Bowl team. “As for my experience, I had a great time representing my grade and my teachers, trying my best to answer all the questions. It really was a team effort, though, and I don’t think anyone will claim Adam’s throne anytime soon,” said Khadavi.

In addition to another correct answer by the sophomores, freshmen also answered a question correctly toward the end of the final round. 

Finally, with the juniors dominating the last of the toss ups, they were victorious. With the entire crowd ready to jump out of their seats, the freshmen were left with zero points, sophomores with 90, seniors with 140, and juniors with a whopping 365.