On Jan 26, four Deerfield students participated in WGBY 57’s As Schools Match Wits, a television-broadcasted trivia show.
The team was able to bring home a victory against Suffield Academy with a score of 360-210, which made Deerfield the highest scoring team so far this season.
“None of us did any preparation before the competition,” said Kishor Bharadwaj ‘19, a team member. “Generally, we all read a lot, everything from academic papers and books to magazines, but we haven’t really had any formal trivia education or preparation … how are you going to learn a little bit of everything in the day before the competition?”
Chijoke Achebe ‘19, another team member, agreed saying, “The only thing you can really do is read a lot. The only real preparation I did was watch old episodes the night before.”
One difficult aspect of the show is that the questions are spread through many categories. Their coach, Science and Mathematics Teacher Forest Reid explained, “It’s a hard test to study for. The questions are all over the place.”
However, if they do continue on the show, Mr. Reid said that it would be wise to put in some more preparatory time on technical rules and general coordination.
Mr. Reid described the selection process as beginning with Sydney Bebon ‘19 and Bharadwaj, the two seniors on the team. From there, the group branched out to other grades, incorporating alternates in the process.
Dylan Bane ‘20 commented, “It was very spontaneous. We put together a team the week before.”
Achebe said, “People think that there is a much more selective process for choosing who goes but it really wasn’t. It was a lot of fun.”
According to Mr. Reid, there have been other teams formed in recent years, but they have not been able to participate in the competition, due to a last-minute drop out and weather conditions the past two years.
This year’s team is the first to appear on the show.
The filming itself was a nerve-wracking, but exciting experience for the team.
“We were kind of nervous going into it,” Bane explained. “We didn’t know what to expect: Was the other team going to be any good? Would we know the answer to any of the questions?”
But Bharadwaj said, “When you got into the game, the cameras didn’t matter all that much; it was just getting the answer right.”
“To just show up there and do as well as we did was a very pleasant surprise,” he continued.
Although Deerfield is currently in the lead, other teams are close with Pope Francis Preparatory School earning 300 points, and Agawam 295 points, with nine more teams still to compete.
If the team places in the top eight after all thirty-eight schools have competed, they will be invited back to face other winning teams in a series of semi finals, hopefully to reach the finals and bring the Collamore Cup, a trophy named after the show’s founder, back to Deerfield.