|Loyola Academy Ramblers|
| Location: |
Wilmette, Illinois. Pictured above (from L to R): Marcel Youkhna, Nolan Winkler, then-assistant coach Jonah Greenthal, Morgan Venkus, Ian Torres, Coach Matt Laird after their 2012 NAQT HSNCT T-8th finish.
|State championships||2004 Iowa NAQT, 2013 Illinois Masonics|
Loyola Academy is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic, Jesuit high school located in Wilmette, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago. It competes in Class AA, the "large school" division, of the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) State Championship Series. The school does not have a conference affiliation. The current coach of the Ramblers is Matt Laird.
Regular Season - The 2008-2009 season is considered a radical turning season for Loyola, as they fully embraced good quiz bowl and began to excel at it. Headed by Captain Jack Glerum and Joe Ahmad, the A team was also contributed to throughout the year by Christian Kreb, Catherine Groden, "Mad Dog" Dan Maddalozzo, and Will Abraham. The team was widely regarded as top 4 in the state, along with Rockford Auburn, New Trier, and Carbondale. Notable finishes include 4th at NAQT State and 4th at IHSA State. Loyola attended both Nationals that year.
PACE NSC - At NSC, Loyola took 3 losses in their prelim bracket, Aston, to Maggie Walker A, Chattahoochee, and Southside A. Their 4-3 prelim record got them into the Pozzo playoff bracket, where they went 2-5, only beating TJ B and Bellaire A. This led to their final place of 29th.
NAQT HSNCT - As always, the date of HSNCT and Loyola's graduation were the same day, meaning that the team was short-handed for pretty much the entire prelims. For four rounds, the team consisted of Juniors Christian Kreb and Will Abraham and Freshmen Nolan Winkler and Marcel Youkhna. As a result of this, Loyola did make the playoffs, but with only a record of 6-4. In the playoffs, they won their first game (after a 1st-round bye) but subsequently lost their second game to Ransom Everglades in order to finish tied for 27th. Loyola also sent a B team consisting of C and D team members, which finished 190th.
Regular Season - The 2009-2010 team had moderate success on the year. The A team primarily consisted of Captain Christian Kreb '10, Nolan Winkler '12, Marcel Youkhna '12, and Will Abraham '10. The team's only tournament victories were both early in the season: at the UIUC Earlybird and the Wheaton North IHSSBCA Kickoffs site. In IHSA: The Rambler won their IHSA Regionals with a 2-0 record and were eliminated by 3.3 PPG in a circle-of-death tiebreaker (along with victor New Trier and OPRF) at IHSA Sectionals.
PACE NSC - Loyola was eliminated from the first flight after their 6th game, going 4-2 with losses against Dorman A and DCC A. They then beat Walter Johnson to finish their prelim bracket with a record of 5-2. In the playoff bracket, Loyola then went 3-4 (losses to TJ B, Hoover, Seven Lakes A, and Dupont Manual A) to be involved in a 3-way circle of death with Hoover and Quince Orchard. Loyola beat Hoover 160-140 in their first half-packet match and went on to beat Quince Orchard 170-150 in their next half-packet match. This gave Loyola the 4th rank in the bracket, meaning they played St. Joseph's A in their crossover match, which they lost 290-270. After accounting for Southside's disqualification, Loyola finished 23rd.
NAQT HSNCT - As always, the date of HSNCT and Loyola's graduation were the same day, meaning that the team was short-handed for pretty much the entire prelims. For all but 2 rounds, Nolan and Marcel were the only regular A Team members present. Loyola generally played awful during HSNCT, which manifested itself early as shown by the Rambler's initial 1-2 record with losses to Culver and Danville. The Ramblers bounced back, winning 4 in a row - including a victory over LASA B by 5 points despite thinking the game was decided 3 tossups earlier due to the accidental addition of 100 points to LASA's score on the fault of Nolan's scorekeeping in his notebook. Loyola then lost to St. John's and beat Rocky Grove to ensure a playoff berth, despite their initial 1-2 record. The Ramblers then lost to St. Mark's and finished Saturday with a record of 6-4, meaning 1 more Loyola loss would eliminate them from the tournament. Loyola played intra-state competition (with their full A-Team Lineup) the 1st match of the playoffs, beating Carbondale soundly. Loyola then lost a close match to Hoover 295-265 to end their tournament, resulting in a final place of tied for 43rd.
Regular Season - The 2010-2011 team had moderate success on the year, being ranked as high as 12th , 16th mid-season , and 19th pre-nationals  by Fred Morlan, but had a disappointing end to their season, finishing in the 30s at both nationals. The A team primarily consisted of Captain Nolan Winkler '12, Marcel Youkhna '12, Brian Peterson '11, and Morgan Venkus '13. The team's best finishes were both at NIU, 2nd at both Huskie Bowl  and ATROPHY . In IHSA: The Rambler won their IHSA Regionals with a 2-0 record and were eliminated by a loss to St. Ignatius at IHSA Sectionals.
PACE NSC - Loyola was missing A-Team starter Morgan Venkus for the entire tournament, A-Team starter Brian Peterson for Sunday, and Morgan's replacement B-Team starter Patrick Rahlfs for Sunday. They went 2-3 in their first flight, getting demolished by Maggie Walker A and losing close matches to Olmsted Falls and Hunter B. In the playoff flight, Loyola went 3-2, losing to unofficial rival IMSA and Rock Bridge. On Sunday, the Loyola team became an undermanned 2-person team of just Nolan and Marcel, who started off their day with a loss on a half-packet tiebreaker to DCC B, who they had earlier beaten, which resulted in placement in the 5th superplayoff bracket. They went 3-1, with a win over New Trier carried over, losing to Clayton. This resulted in a 4-1 finish and 1st place in the V bracket, a 9-6.5 record overall and a final place of 31st.
NAQT HSNCT - As always, the date of HSNCT and Loyola's graduation were the same day, meaning that the team was short-handed for the entire tournament, as A-Team starter Brian Peterson was replaced by B-Team starter Patrick Rahlfs. Loyola generally played bad during HSNCT, which manifested itself early in their game 3 loss to Detroit County Day, wherein Nolan was 1/0/4 and Loyola combined for 1/3/5. The Ramblers won 4 of their next 6, with 2 close-ish losses to Centennial and Santa Monica, to be 6-3 entering their last match. The Ramblers then repeated last year's performance with a loss once again to St. Mark's and finished Saturday with a record of 6-4, meaning 1 more Loyola loss would eliminate them from the tournament. Loyola was the top-ranked 6-4 team that did not receive a bye, so they cruised through their first 2 playoff matches, beating Treasure Valley Math & Science and Wayzata for the second time. They then faced Georgetown Day School and lost on the last question, 315-355, eliminating them with a 8-5 record to finish tied for 33rd.
Regular Season - The 2011-2012 season saw the strongest year yet for Loyola, who were generally considered third in the state behind Rockford Auburn and IMSA. Their Frankings tended to hover around eighth or ninth, ranking as high as fourth near the close of the season . The A Team consisted of two seniors, captain Nolan Winkler and Marcel Youkhana, and two juniors, Morgan Venkus and Ian Torres. They also had a semi-competitive B team consisting of seniors Paddy Rahlfs, Nick Cummins, and Matt McBride with junior Zach Hayes; this team minus history player Zach attended the 2012 NSC and placed a disappointing 50th.
PACE NSC - The 2012 Loyola team began Saturday with a strong performance, coming out on top of their bracket after defeating rivals IMSA and winning a protest on an odd common link myth question to come out ahead of St Joe's. In the afternoon, they began to choke in a series of increasingly crushing losses, eventually losing four games by a margin of 60 points or less, including a 10 point loss to Bellarmine. On Sunday morning, despite defeating Centennial, a 50 point loss to Thomas Jefferson kept them out of the superplayoffs. With the fifth highest ppb and 7th highest powers/game of the tournament, the 2012 Loyola team ultimately placed 13th of 60 teams.
NAQT HSNCT - Not wanting to miss out on his last HSNCT, team captain Nolan Winkler put the team on his back and ditched his graduation ceremony to play with the junior players of the A team. Nolan, classically bad on NAQT questions, was generally outscored by Morgan Venkus on Saturday, and in his most characteristic game, went 1/1/6 vs Georgetown Day en route to losing by 240 points. Despite trading wins with Torrey Pines and taking a hard loss to Ladue, the team of Nolan, Morgan, and Ian managed to go 7-3, entering into the winner's bracket for the first time in school history. Loyola ran a well-received trash tournament, CAHLFS, during HSNCT Saturday night, at which point final teammate Marcel Youkhana flew in from Chicago to play in the playoffs. On Sunday, Loyola opened up, for the second time in two years, against fellow Illinois team Carbondale, whom they defeated soundly for the right to play IMSA in the next round. After a close loss to IMSA they won three games in a row, beating Northmont and LASA B and avenging their prelim game against GDS with a resounding victory. They were eliminated by Detroit Catholic Central to tie for 8th place, their highest nationals placement to date.
Current Year Stats
|Tournament||Question Set||Team Name/Make-Up||Team Placing||Individual Awards|
|NU Wake-Up Call ||2011 Fall Novice||Novice A Team||1st/24, 11-1, 26.04 PPB ||4th Individual Scorer, Morgan Venkus, 72.00 PPG|
|Novice B Team||7th/24, 8-2, 23.41 PPB ||9th Individual Scorer, Zach Hayes, 52.00 PPG|
|Novice C Team||19th/24, 6-4, 20.85 PPB |
|UIUC Earlybird ||2011 TJ Olefin||Loyola A||2nd/24, 10-2, 25.42 PPB ||6th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 91.00 PPG|
|Loyola B||12th/24, 6-5, 18.64 PPB |
|NIU SCOP Novice ||2011 SCOP||Novice A Team||1st/24, 9.5-1, 23.97 PPB ||3rd Individual Scorer, Ian Torres, 123.75 PPG|
|Novice B Team||13th/24, 6-2, 16.74 PPB ||6th Individual Scorer, Alex Smith, 80.00 PPG|
|NIU ACF Fall Mirror ||2011 ACF Fall||Loyola A||6th/28, 8-4, 23.58 PPB ||2nd Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 67.50 PPG|
|Loyola B||14th/28, 5-7, 14.43 PPB |
|Rockford Auburn Loyburn ||HSAPQ #22||Loyola A||2nd/24, 9-2, 24.86 PPB  ||6th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 88.00 PPG|
|Loyola C+||12th/24, 6-5, 17.58 PPB  |
|Wheaton North Kickoff  Uber-Competitive||NAQT IS-109||Loyola A||3rd/18, 6-4, 20.11 PPB  ||5th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 71.00 PPG|
|Loyola B||11th/18, 3-6, 15.20 PPB ||7th Individual Scorer, Paddy Rahlfs, 53.00 PPG|
|Wheaton North Kickoff  Standard||Loyola C||T-23/64, 3-3, 15.50 PPB ||5th Individual Scorer, Zachary Hayes, 56.25 PPG|
|Rockford Auburn HFT Mirror ||Harvard Fall Tournament||Loyola A/B Hybrid||3rd/18, 7-2, 21.43 PPB ||2nd Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 114.44 PPG|
|New Trier Varsity: ELEGANT  Uber-Competitive||Maggie Walker GSAC||Loyola A||5th/24, 6-5, 24.83 PPB ||9th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 69.00 PPG|
|Loyola B||21st/24, 3-7, 19.62 PPB |
|New Trier Varsity: ELEGANT  Standard||Loyola C||9th/30, 6-4, 14.69 PPB |
|Niles West BDAT Mirror ||Norcross BDAT||Loyola A||1st/16, 10-0, 23.53 PPB ||3rd Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 76.43 PPG|
|Loyola B||7th/16, 7-3, 15.95 PPB |
|Loyola C||14th/16, 4-6, 12.82 PPB |
|Metea Valley TRIUMVIR ||IMSANITY 2||Loyola A||1st/24, 11-0, 25.97 PPB ||5th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 66.00 PPG|
|Loyola B||T-2nd/24, 9-2, 18.72 PPB |
|Loyola C||15th/24, 4-7, 11.01 PPB |
|Loyola Ultima Uber ||Ladue LIST 2||Loyola A||T-4th/24, 7-4, 26.95 PPB ||7th Individual Scorer, Nolan Winkler, 73.50 PPG|
|Loyola Ultima Standard ||Ladue LIST 2||Loyola B-/Diamond||4th/24, 7-3, 20.53 PPB ||1st Individual Scorer, Paddy Rahlfs, 90.00 PPG|
|Loyola B-/Platinum||7th/24, 9-1, 18.93 PPB ||7th Individual Scorer, Zach Hayes, 58.00 PPG|
|Loyola B-/Pearl||8th/24, 7-3, 19.73 PPB ||3rd Individual Scorer, Nick Cummins, 68.00 PPG|
For many years, Loyola Academy was one of the centers for Midwestern quizbowl, with sometimes as many as four major tournaments being held there each year. Over time, their varsity and frosh-soph tournaments were dropped.
Loyola currently hosts between 2 and 3 tournaments a year. Their varsity tournament, the Ultima, their frosh/soph tournament Davey & Goliath, and a tournament jointly held with Rockford Auburn that rotates every year, Loyburn. Initially, Davey and Goliath used Aegis Questions but now uses an IS-A Set.
Loyola competed for The Bloodstone Cup in an annual competition against Maine South for a few years. The annual competition was born from the back-to-back Regional upsets that the teams visited on each other. The award is a crystal goblet filled with hand-tumbled bloodstones, and kept in a wooden presentation box. The award was donated by F/S coach Matt Laird. Through three competitions, Loyola led the overall series 2-1.
Many believe there is a rivalry between Loyola and IMSA was born in 2010-2011 due to their players' conducts and their closes matches and tournament finishes throughout the year.
Noted Team Accomplishments
- PACE NSC: 13th (2012)
- NAQT HSNCT: T-8th (2012)
- Midwest Championship: 2nd (2012)
- Illinois NAQT State Championship: 3rd (2011)
- Iowa NAQT State Championship: 1st (2004)
- IHSA Regionals (10): 1st (1999, 2001-03, 2005, 2008-13)
- IHSA Sectionals (3): 1st (1996, 2008-09, 2013)
- IHSA State: 2nd (2013)
IHSSBCA Individual Awards
The following were honored by the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association (IHSSBCA) for outstanding play through their All-Sectional/All-State Program. Each sectional comprises roughly 24 geographically concentrated teams, and thus roughly 125 starting players. Through the 2006-07 season, the top ten players were recognized in each sectional,(starting with 2007-08, the number was raised to 15) with teams restricted to no more than two nominations (three nominations starting in 2007-08). There are twenty All-State awards given each year (10 First Team, 10 Second Team) in each of Illinois' two classes.
- 2001-02: Megan Hixson
- 2005-06: Katie Kragh, Matt McKenna
- 2007-08: Joe Ahmad, Jack Glerum, Mike Verity
- 2008-09: Joe Ahmad, Jack Glerum
- 2009-10: Nolan Winkler, Marcel Youkhana
- 2010-11: Nolan Winkler, Marcel Youkhana
- 2011-12: Nolan Winkler, Morgan Venkus, Marcel Youkhana
- 2012-13: Ian Torres, Morgan Venkus
- 2005-06: Matt McKenna (1st team)
- 2007-08: Joe Ahmad (2nd team)
- 2008-09: Joe Ahmad (1st team), Jack Glerum (2nd team)
- 2009-10: Nolan Winkler (1st team), Marcel Youkhana (1st team)
- 2010-11: Nolan Winkler (1st team)
- 2011-12: Nolan Winkler (1st team); Marcel Youkhana, Morgan Venkus (2nd team)
- 2012-13: Ian Torres, Morgan Venkus (1st team)
Playing for Team Illinois
- Stephen Walker (2000)
- Andy Mathews (2004)
- Matt McKenna (2006)
- Mike Verity (2008)
- Nolan Winkler (2012)
- Morgan Venkus (2013)
- Ian Torres (Senior)
- Morgan Venkus (Senior, Captain)
- Rosie Frehe (Senior)
- Joe Burke (Senior)
- Zach Hayes (Senior)
- Connell Stanton (Sophomore)
- Robbie Neja (Sophomore)
- Andrew Amesbury (Sophomore)
- Reid Furton (Sophomore)
- Bryant Nelson (Sophomore)
- Will Kolada (Freshman)
- Matt McKenna
- Mike Verity (Georgetown, UChicago)
- Tim Durso
- Joe Ahmad (Notre Dame)
- Jack Glerum (DePauw)
- Matt Laird
- Nolan Winkler (UChicago)