| Location: |
|Coaches||Ryan Fedewa (head) Matt Laird (asst.)|
|State Championships||2000 IHSA, 2000 Masonic tournament, 2005 IHSA, 2005 NAQT, 2006 NAQT, 2010 IHSA, 2010 NAQT, 2011 Masonic tournament|
|National Appearances|| HSNCT: 2005, 2006, 2010-2016|
NSC: 2001, 2010-2016
- There are other schools named Stevenson; this article is about the one most notable in quizbowl.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School is a public high school in Lincolnshire, Illinois. It currently competes as a member of the North Suburban League (NSL). It also competes in Class AA, the "large school" division, of the Illinois High School Association's (IHSA) State Championship Series. The current head coach is Ryan Fedewa, assisted by coach Matt Laird. Stevenson placed second at the 2016 NSC.
Following the graduation of many key members of the successful 2013-2014 team, now-senior Jonathan Mishory assumed the role of captain. Ambitious sophomores Ali Saeed and Nathan Cha "accidentally" ambled into varsity practice, joined by their graduating JV captain Marco Laudati. Spurred by their desire to impress girls, the younger players began studying intently (Protobowl). The studying finally paid off at their first tournament, a 2014 Harvard Fall mirror, where, despite finishing last place out of eight teams, they experienced the thrill of winning a game after their last round opponent failed to show up. Several months later, Stevenson placed 8th at the 2015 Illinois NAQT State Championship, where they began a longstanding tradition of eating Panda Express for lunch and tanking afternoon rounds.
2015 HSNCT - Stevenson was divided into A and B teams, not determined by strength; the A team was comprised of graduating seniors, while the B team was organized as a preview for next year. Stevenson B accomplished its sole objective of powering every rock music question after Ali converted an Eric Clapton tossup before the first clue finished being read. Eventually both teams finished 53rd, although Stevenson B powered nearly twice as many times as Stevenson A.
Stevenson entered the season with a signature blend of lofty goals and little motivation to study. The primary objective for the year was established: Ali would not score a majority of the team's points at a tournament. While not much was expected of Stevenson in a region predicted to be dominated by Hinsdale Central and Rockford Auburn, the team eventually finished with a winning record against every team in Illinois aside from Hinsdale Central, anomalously Barrington, and anomalouslier UChicago Lab. However, the Stevenson team became characterized by high power counts and extremely low PPBs, leading them to drop to 32nd in HSQBRank's 2016 Pre-National Ranking.
2016 NHBB - The second scorer position for Stevenson was occupied by history specialist Kazuma Shimanaka. Kazuma was destined to lead his team to victory, in normal circumstances. Instead, Stevenson was forced to participate in the first official quizbowl three-way match as an intragroup tiebreak. Stevenson was defeated, finishing 9th in the National History Bowl. Kazuma was a History Bee semifinalist, Ali was a quarterfinalist.
2016 HSNCT - During the season, the Stevenson team had struggled on NAQT format questions, so expectations for HSNCT were meager. However, the team consisting of Ali, Kazuma, Nathan, and Young finished 8-2 after prelims, only incurring loses to DCC B, and, of course, Hinsdale Central. Eventually, Stevenson placed 13th at HSNCT and second-to-last place in the 2016 ACRONYM trash tournament that followed.
2016 NSC - This tournament would be the last for graduating seniors Kazuma and Marco, who formed the Stevenson A team along with juniors Ali and Young. They went undefeated through prelims and finished with the 2nd most powers in the field, behind Chattahoochee. However, their playoff bracket featured LASA, Chattahoochee, Rancho Bernardo, IMSA, and the Early College at Guilford. Only 2 teams could advance to the first bracket in Sunday's superplayoffs (for places 1-8). After a logistical error, Stevenson had to start the playoffs against IMSA on a replacement packet, which featured the tossups deemed not quite good enough for the actual set. The team lost the first game of the playoffs, and it seemed doubtful they could advance. They proceeded to defeat Early College A but lose to LASA. They defeated Rancho Bernardo after Ali powered a tiebreaker tossup on "Mrs. Dalloway." Finally, they defeated Chattahoochee by 10 points, upon the denial of Chattahoochee's protest claiming that "The Birds" should be an acceptable answer for Audubon's book "The Birds of America." As the dust cleared, Stevenson and Chattahoochee were tied for second place in the bracket, while LASA won outright. The two tied teams assembled to play a half-packet tiebreaker. Things started out well for Stevenson as Young powered the first tossup on pianos, Ali powered the next on Michel de Montaigne, and Kazuma firstlined the fourth on Draco by somehow knowing that he "died at a theater in Aegina, where he was suffocated by cloaks and hats thrown at him by adoring supporters." Stevenson won the game after another Chattahoochee protest was denied. Stevenson had made it to the top bracket, and each player was content with the expectation to lose every remaining game.
What happened on Sunday was instead a decisive 5 game win streak. The day started out with a match against Thomas Jefferson, the runners up at the previous week's HSNCT. Highlighted by powering 7 tossups in a row on The Importance of Being Earnest, Heraclitus, pillars, magnetic field, horse races, Solidarity, and string quartets, Stevenson earned a decisive victory. Second, they would play their usually victorious regional rival, Hinsdale Central. However, this time Hinsdale was only able to answer 5 tossups, and Stevenson walked away victorious. Third, they would defeat DCC B in another close game decided after protests. Fourth, Stevenson defeated DCC A, in the game that would be DCC's lowest scoring of the tournament. Finally, Stevenson defeated another regional competitor, Rockford Auburn, who had earlier eliminated them from HSNCT. However, Stevenson lost the sixth and final game to Canyon Crest, after nerves got the best of them. Only after that game did they learn that they had already clinched a disadvantaged final against LASA.
Stevenson lost to LASA in the first game of the final. This was the only occasion in which an Illinois team had made a national final. After the awards ceremony, Ali was drafted last out of the 6 players for the all-star game, but he finished with the second most points and led his team to victory. As the tournament ended, Stevenson realized that they had at last fulfilled their primary objective: Kazuma, Young, and Marco had, for the first time, scored a majority of the team's points.
Noted Team Accomplishments
- PACE NSC runners-up: 2016
- NAQT Illinois Championship champions: 2005, 2006, 2011
- NAQT Illinois Championship runners-up: 2014
- IHSA Regional Titles (7): 2001, 03-05, 07-10
- IHSA Sectional Titles (10): 1992, 96, 98, 2000-01, 03-05, 08-10
- IHSA Championship Tournament Champions: 2000, 2005, 2010
- IHSA Championship Tournament Runner-Up: 2004, 08
- IHSA Championship Tournament Third Place: 1999, 2001, 2009
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.
- 2002-03: Jordan Silver
- 2003-04: Jordan Silver
- 2004-05: Brian McKenzie, Jordan Silver
- 2005-06: James Wolff
- 2006-07: Karthik Shastri
- 2007-08: Justin Kopinsky
- 2008-09: Zach Blumenfeld
- 2009-10: Zach Blumenfeld, Kevin Malis
- 2012-13: Jason Asher, Niranjan Jayanth
- 2013-14: Jason Asher, Jeeho Lee
- 2015-16: Ali Saeed
- 2003-04: Jordan Silver (2nd team)
- 2004-05: Jordan Silver (1st team)
- 2006-07: Karthik Shastri (2nd team)
- 2007-08: Justin Kopinsky (1st team)
- 2008-09: Zach Blumenfeld (1st team)
- 2009-10: Zach Blumenfeld (2nd team), Kevin Malis (1st team)
- 2010-11: Zach Blumenfeld (2nd team), Kevin Malis (1st team)
- 2012-13: Jason Asher (2nd team), Niranjan Jayanth (2nd team)
- 2013-14: Jason Asher (1st team), Jeeho Lee (1st team)
- 2015-16: Ali Saeed (1st team)
Playing for Team Illinois
Other Notable Alumni