The Trinity Quick Recall Rocks started their summer in The Big Easy this past week competing in the National Academic Championship!
The team arrived in New Orleans on Friday evening, May 24. The event, organized by Questions Unlimited, featured 31 high schools from all over the United States. Trinity qualified by winning their district in the Governor’s Cup.
Eight team members traveled with the team. Trinity Class of ’19, Sammy Mattingly, Class of ’20, Nick Huls, Jack McCalpin, Aden Yeager and Class of ’21, Dylan Fox, Will Hodge, Riley Moremen, and Cade Watson. Trinity Quick Recall coach Mark Amick accompanied the guys.
Coach Amick was incredibly proud of how his team performed, going 6-0 in the opening round, and 8-1 overall, coming up one question short in the Final Four.
“I’m so proud of the way the team competed. We really communicated well throughout the tournament so that we maximized the impressive wealth of knowledge that these young men possess. We often played a senior, two juniors, and a sophomore and every voice was heard. The guys trusted each other and knew their own strengths and they would defer or consult whenever possible to make the best use of those strengths.”
The format of the National Academic Championship is unique, different from both, the Governor’s Cup and the NAQT college tournaments the Rocks compete in. It consists of four quarters, each quarter representing a different range of points, and question formats, meaning some quarters are toss-up questions where teams can steal answers if their opponent were to miss, where as other quarters are lighting rounds where the teams are asked ten questions and must answer them in 60 seconds. Coach Amick loved how, given the unfamiliar format, his team responded. “The format definitely took some acclimating for us. I thought the guys adapted quickly, quicker than me honestly, to it. I was so proud of how they encouraged each other after right answers and after wrong answers to focus and get the next one. This format also allowed for our guys to show how selfless they were. For instance, Sammy Mattingly told me that he felt the Lightning Round wasn’t his strong suit and subbed himself out so that I could put in another team member that would better complement our knowledge base.”
Their showing in the National Academic Championship simply furthered Coach Amick’s beliefs that his team can compete with any school in the country. “We came up one question short in the Final Four but still made a name for ourselves among schools from all over the country. We’ve worked hard all year, and I think that hard work has been demonstrated in our exceptional results at Governor’s Cup. We finished third in Quick Recall and Future Problem Solving, but we won Region 7 overall on the strength of our subject-area testing, and that’s a testament to guys like Jack McCalpin, Nick Huls, Sammy Mattingly, and Dylan Fox studying their subjects every week.”
It wasn’t all work and no play for the Quick Recall Rocks down in New Orleans as they also had plenty of time to explore the city! The guys went on swamp tours, did a haunted carriage ride, visited the unique cemeteries in the city, and took in the architecture.
After an exceptional year, Coach Amick is excited about the future of Trinity Quick Recall. “We return seven of the eight players who competed. Our leading scorer at the event, Nick Huls, is a rising senior. Our JV team had a great season, finishing 10-1, including runner-up finishes in the regular season and league tournament. I think if the team continues to put in the daily effort, we have every reason to be optimistic for the 2019-2020 season. It won’t be easy replacing the seniors leadership shown by Sammy, but I love the camaraderie and respect the juniors show to each other and the underclassmen.”
Congratulations on an incredible year, Rocks! We’re proud of you!