Canyon Crest

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Canyon Crest Academy
San Diego, CA
Club Presidents Yaj Jhajhria, Claire Wang, Andrew Tsui
Coaches Brian Shay (2016-)
State Championships NAQT: 2012, 2017, 2018
National Championships none
National Appearances HSNCT: 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
NSC: 2016-2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
Program Status Active
School Size Unknown
NAQT Page link

Canyon Crest Academy, often known simply as Canyon Crest or CCA is a prestigious public school in San Diego, California. They are active in the Southern California (SoCal) high school circuit and have consistently ranked as one of the premier teams in the region, along with prestigious programs Del Norte, Arcadia, and Westview. They have consistently fielded teams at both HSNCT and NSC national tournaments. Canyon Crest notably placed 6th at the 2016 NSC and 12th at the 2018 HSNCT.

CCA's annual high school tournament, PPT, is usually held in the fall and on NAQT questions. In 2023 CCA hosted VALORANT, a middle school tournament.

2023-24 players

  • Claire Wang
  • Yaj Jhajhria
  • Andrew Tsui
  • Alex Xu
  • Shail Bhatmuley
  • Lorenzo Lesmes
  • Ishank Kadadi
  • Austin Xu al.

Former players

  • Wesley Zhang (captain)
  • Raymond Song (co-pres.)
  • Shreyank Kadadi (co-pres.)
  • Alan Zhu
  • Jasper Chen
  • Paul Mola
  • Jonathan Hsieh
  • Cade McAllister
  • Leo Gu
  • Andrew Gao
  • Chris Jung al.

2020-21 Season

  • Presidents: Cade McAllister (11), Andrew Gao (11), and Chris Jung (10)
  • Secretary: Leo Gu (11)
  • Treasurer: Yaj Jhajhria (9)

Canyon Crest Academy's 2020-21 Season, like most teams, marked the first fully online QuizBowl season. In addition, this season marked the arrival of freshmen Yaj Jhajhria (Carmel Valley), Andrew Tsui (Hong Kong), Hans Yang (Carmel Valley), Aaron Combs (New Jersey), Inchara J. (Carmel Valley), and Alex Xu (Carmel Valley - Note: Alex did not attend any tournaments until the 2022-23 season). CCAQB also hosted two school events, titled "Raven Jeopardy" and "Teachers v. Students" which helped to draw further participation and member registration.

The team participated in three online tournaments in the fall. Two teams comprising novice players were registered for the 2020 California Novice tournament, played on TAILS, a novice question set. Canyon Crest A finished 6-2 overall with a narrow 405-420 loss to Gunn in the single-elimination formatted playoffs, led by an impressive 88.75 PPG (43/11/9) performance from freshman Aaron Combs (3rd Overall). Canyon Crest B finished 2-6, with Andrew Tsui (9) finished with 65 PPG. At Triton Fall, the first SoCal and two-division circuit tournament (Varsity: LONE-STAR, JV: IS-194A), Canyon Crest A finished 5-5 in an extremely competitive Varsity Division. The team was led by Andrew Gao's 65.38 PPG and 3.54P/G (23/11/6) in 6.5 games, whilst Leo Gu (38.95 PPG), Chris Jung (20.53 PPG), and Kevin Luo (12.11 PPG) made solid contributions. Freshman Aaron Combs also appeared in 6 games, netting a 10 PPG with 2 powers. Canyon Crest B and C appeared in the JV Division, with B going 9-3 behind 52.17 PPG (20/35/10) and 43 PPG (7/35/5) performances from Yaj Jhajhria and Ethan Gross respectively whilst C went 5-6. At ACE IV (played on RAFT II, a Regs-level Set - single division), Canyon Crest A finished 6-3 and T-3rd OVR (2-1 playoffs, tie with Santa Monica B) with 52.57 PPG (20/23/14) and 44.57 PPG (15/18/3) performances by Leo Gu and Chris Jung respectively. This marked CCA's first tournament appearance that season without Andrew Gao and Cade McAllister's entry into the Canyon Crest A roster. Canyon Crest B and C finished 9th and 7th respectively, with Aaron Combs finishing with 85.45 PPG on Canyon Crest C, 2nd overall in the tournament and the team's year-high individual PPG. The tournament was unfortunately marred by the disqualification of St. Margaret's and Del Norte A.

At Triton Winter IX (Varsity: IS-197, JV: IS-196A), a depleted Canyon Crest A team finished 5-5 although Leo Gu recorded 48 PPG (21/26/19) with a significant number of negs. The absences of starters Chris Jung and Andrew Gao contributed to this performance, although the tournament gave opportunity to freshmen Aaron Combs and Yaj Jhajhria to participate in team A. Canyon Crest B finished 6-2 in the JV Division, with Ethan Gross (11) narrowly falling short of the JV-ban cut with a 49.38 PPG (7/34/10). Canyon Crest A continued to disappoint in their second tournament of 2021 at DNE IV (Varsity: MCMT, JV: Eris), finishing 4-5 albeit with absences from Andrew Gao and Leo Gu. However, CCA B finished 6-3 in the JV Division with Andrew Tsui getting JV-banned with a 53.89 PPG (21/19/4) and Ethan Gross narrowly missing the cut once again with a 48.46 PPG (16/12/9).

SRIRACHA! (DART I, a Regs+ Set) was arguably Canyon Crest's most important circuit tournament of the 2020-21 season, with the team vying to qualify a second team for the 2021 NSC. Once again shorthanded in a top-heavy Southern California circuit, Canyon Crest A finished 6th in a single-bracket, 14-team tournament. Leo Gu and Chris Jung both impressed with 47.5 (18/31/21) and 38.5 (11/24/4) PPG respectively. Despite Andrew Gao appearing for two games with Ethan Gross, Andrew Sun, and Yaj Jhajhria all being assembled in an attempt to qualify, the team fell to 3-7, with Yaj's 9 powers being the team's only positive from the tournament. Meanwhile, on Canyon Crest C, Andrew Tsui recorded his career-high thus far with a 7th overall, 61.11 PPG performance (20/27/4) or 2.22 powers per game. Internally, it was elucidated and confirmed that Aaron Combs had dishonestly competed during multiple online circuit tournaments throughout the season, marking the end of his involvement with CCAQB.

The remaining months leading up to nationals saw Canyon Crest participate in three tournaments. Canyon Crest first participated in the West Coast Championships, the defacto state-wide tournament for the 2020-21 season. On April 10th, Canyon Crest Appeared in ReKT, finishing 4th behind nationally ranked Kinkaid, Arcadia, and Santa Monica A. This tournament was Leo Gu's most impressive of the season, with the junior recording a 63.33 PPG (30/22/20) record. This also marked Andrew Tsui's first Team A appearance. A B team was also submitted, although they finished in last place with no victories as the team was comprised fully of inexperienced seniors. Finally, at CHASE, Canyon Crest finished 4th (5-5) in a tournament missing top teams and CCA fielding a full team. Leo Gu notched 42.45 PPG (17/23/21) with Chris Jung close behind with 42.13 PPG (13/16/4) but significantly less negs. CCA also hosted PPT IV, the fourth iteration of the school's tournament (the first edition online)

At 2021 HSNCT, Canyon Crest finished with a 5-3 preliminary record, enough to earn a berth in the double-elimination playoffs bracket. However, they were consecutively defeated by Adlai E. Stevenson and La Jolla to end the tournament T-72nd. The La Jolla match in particular, responsible for Canyon Crest's exit at the tournament, was particularly controversial due to La Jolla player Andrew Park's later-exposed cheating. The team faced a severe drop in scoring, failing to scale well to nationals-level packets despite ample preparation at circuit-level tournaments, with Chris Jung and Leo Gu both earning 24.5 PPGs (3/22/4 and 5/31/28) respectively. The team also featured Kevin Luo (whose dormitory room unfortunately caught on fire) and Cade McAllister, with Andrew Gao failing to appear. Leo Gu's 28 negs in 10 rounds were also the tournament's high and potentially a record.

At 2021 NSC, Canyon Crest finished 53rd out of 80 with a 5-8 overall record, losing 6 out of their opening 8 games although their opponents included Detroit Catholic Central, Solon, and St. Mark's. The tournament was marked by a low PPB of 15.36, further indicating the team's lack of coverage and depth at the nationals-level, with lead-scorer (for most of the year) Leo Gu 3rd on his team with a 27.5 PPG (5/23). This tournament marked Chris Jung's ascendency to the role as CCA's top scorer with a 44.62 PPG performance (16/26). Andrew Gao's 11 powers and Cade McAllister's appearance rounded off the roster and CCA's 2020-21 season.

2021-22 Season

  • Presidents: Chris Jung (11), Andrew Gao (12), and Ethan Gross (12)
  • Secretary: Leo Gu (12)
  • Treasurer: Cade McAllister (12)

Canyon Crest Academy's 2021-22 Season was characterized by a return to in-person tournaments and masking during tourneys (until around March). In addition, this season marked the arrival of freshman Claire Wang (Maryland) who would greatly improve the team's literature and fine arts coverage, and later become CCA's lead scorer. The club's officers remained largely unchained, with the exception of Ethan Gross' (12) election to Co-President, Cade McAllister's (12) move to Treasurer, and the absence of Yaj Jhajhria (10) although he would be crucial towards PPT V's logistics. CCA hosted the fifth iteration of PPT to open the 2021-22 Southern California QuizBowl circuit season.

Canyon Crest's first tournament of the season would be DNE V (Varsity: DART II, JV: IS-203A) where a new look Canyon Crest A participated, represented by Chris Jung (11 - the only remnant from the 2020-21 A team roster), Yaj Jhajhria (10), Claire Wang (9), and Andrew Tsui (10). Despite the team being almost fully underclassmen, fully during rounds 7-10, the team finished 7-3 and 2nd overall behind the undefeated Arcadia. This included two victories over Westview A and a win over Santa Monica A. Chris Jung's 50 PPG (7/20/1) indicated a new era of stability and (temporarily) conservative buzzing, whilst freshman Claire Wang's 43 PPG debut (4/37/0) demonstrated extreme promise for the program's future (Author's note: Such a high volume of buzzing without a single neg is almost impossible for CCAQB's players). Yaj Jhajhria's 5 powers and Andrew Tsui's 4 powers rounded off the team's overachieving performance at the tournament.