Illinois sent an all-star team to the Panasonic Academic Challenge from 1997 through 2008. The program was canceled in 2009, but the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association (IHSSBCA) decided to send a team to the NASAT beginning in 2010.
Selection Process & Preparation
While there have been slight changes from year to year, the overall process of selecting the team is relatively constant. Individual coaches are invited to nominate players of exceptional talent, with an eye for players who tend to excel beyond IHSA format.
Players then attend a tryout in central Illinois where they compete within the format in general rounds as well as subject-specific rounds, while being observed by members of the selection committee, which is chosen by the coaches (who are chosen by the IHSSBCA Steering Committee).
The committee then meets to consider performance during the tryout, as well as statistical and performance achievement throughout the season. The goal is to provide for balance across subjects, as well as producing the overall best team.
The team generally practices several times between the selection and the competition.
2001 at the NSC
In 2001, Team Illinois was permitted to enter the PACE NSC to play exhibition matches. There were complaints regarding the presence of an all-star team, and Team Illinois was never permitted to return, nor has any other all-star team been permitted to participate. Nonetheless, Yogesh Raut was named to the All-Scholar team. Team Illinois' participation coincided with its coach, Rob Grierson, receiving the 2001 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award.
- 1997 - Rob Grierson
- 1998-2001 - Rob Grierson and Debbie Martin
- 2002–2005 - David Riley
- 2006–2007 - David Riley and Nick Pitz
- 2008 - Nick Pitz and David Adkins
- 2009 - no team
- 2010–2011 - David Riley and Mike Laudermith*
- 2012-2013 - Sharon Lorinskas (Carbondale) and Jay Winter
*Mike Laudermith also was a player on the first Team Illinois, in 1997.
Results at PAC
- Champions - 2007, 2008
- 2nd place - 2002
- 3rd place - 2004, 2005
- 4th place - 2000
- 5th place - 1998
- All-American team: Parag Bhayani, 2002; Ben Taylor, 2003; David Abram, 2004; Greg Gauthier, 2007 and 2008 (only the third player in PAC history to be named All-American twice)
Results at NASAT
- 2nd place - 2011, 2012
- 3rd place - 2010
- 6th place - 2013
1997 (did not place out of 46 teams at PAC): Tim Werner (Fremd), Kyle McQuisten (Hononegah), Mark Barrett (Libertyville), Mike Laudermith (West Leyden), Jeremy Light (Woodruff), and Jeff Vieregg (Wheaton Warrenville South)
1999 (did not place out of 44 teams at PAC): Ben Ricca (Streator), Tim Holbrook (University (Normal)), David Shalowitz (New Trier), Peter McFerrin (IMSA), David Barnes (Latin School), and Martin Urban (Moline)
2002 (2nd place out of 33 teams at PAC): Lori Sommers (Wheaton North), Mariusz Galczynski (Downers Grove North), Jim Davis (Latin School), Parag Bhayani (Homewood-Flossmoor), Shao-Yun Guo (New Trier), and Mathew Eapen (Sterling)
2003 (top 18 out of 34 teams at PAC): Ben Taylor (Guilford), David Vock (Wheaton North), Paul Gauthier (Wheaton North), Colin Davy (New Trier), Matt Keenan (New Trier), and Kelly Tourdot (Stillman Valley)
2004 (3rd place out of 33 teams at PAC): David Abram (Hoffman Estates), Jaya Kalra (Sterling), Paul Gauthier (Wheaton North), Nik Brendler (Lincoln-Way East), Andy Mathews (Loyola Academy), and Eric Grebing (Bunker Hill)
2006 (top 18 out of 32 teams at PAC): Kristina Warren (Bloomington), Matt McKenna (Loyola Academy), Carlo Angiuli (New Trier), Justin Stoncius (Carbondale), Tyler Kerr (Rockford Auburn), and Greg Gauthier (Wheaton North)
2009: no team
2011: (2nd place of 10 teams at NASAT): same players as 2010
- 1998 Illinois Panasonic Team
- 2000 Illinois Panasonic Team
- 2002 Illinois Panasonic Team
- 2007 Illinois Panasonic Team
- 2008 Illinois Panasonic Team