Collins Hill

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Collins Hill Eagles
CollinsHillHSGA.png
Location:
Suwanee, GA
Club President None
Coaches Andy Merrick
State Championships GATA Division I (2017)
National Championships None
National Appearances HSNCT: 2000, 2012-2017, NHBB: 2014-2015, PACE: 2017
Program Status Active
School Size 3148 (2015)

Collins Hill High School is a high school in Suwanee, GA. They host a Varsity, JV, and middle school tournament every year. Collins Hill finished second in the 6A division of the GATA State Championship in 2014 and won its first GATA Division I State Championship in 2017.

Collins Hill High School has gone from being a relatively unknown quiz bowl entity to being one of Georgia's best teams. This article outlines a brief history of Collins Hill quiz bowl.


Early History

Collins Hill first appeared at a national tournament in 2000 when they finished 4-6 at the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament. Between that time and 2011, the team was largely irrelevant. However, control of the team was transferred to Collins Hill Alumnus Scott Kim, who coached the team from 2006-2017.

2011-12

The 2011-12 quiz bowl season changed everything. The year began with a 1-4 finish at GATA Fall, followed by a 4-3 finish for the A team at CATT VII. It was during the fall semester that Collins Hill AP Human Geography teacher and part-time quiz bowl recruiter Kevin Kelly was part of a group encouraging Zack Johnson to join the team. Zack was a shy and unassuming youth who had little interest in extracurricular activities when he was introduced by a classmate to Mr. Kim. After being talked into coming to watch the team compete at Centennial ATTACK, an unexpected absence led to him competing in his first ever tournament. Along with team veterans Nancy Chung, James Gadea, and Kate Unsworth, Zack helped the team go 4-3 at ATTACK, and he was one of many on the 5-2 team at the 2012 Georgia AAAAAA Region Tournament at Central Gwinnett. Chung, Gadea, Johnson, and future team captain Arvind Ramachandran formed the Collins Hill team at the 2012 edition of HSNCT. Zack helped the team pull off a narrow 205-200 victory over Springfield by powering the final tossup heard. Overall the team finished 4-6, matching their 2000 HSNCT record. Nancy and James graduated, but Arvind and Zack stuck around to form the core of the team.

2012-13

Despite a disappointing performance at the Gwinnett County Tournament, Zack managed to lead a young team of inexperienced freshmen (for Creekland Middle School didn't have a team at this time) to tie for fifth place at 2012 GATA Fall North. Zack put his love of history and cautious buzzer technique to good use and gradually improved as the year went on. Collins Hill went a respectable 5-5 at Jag Bowl in the JV division. They then went 6-3 at Alpharetta SCOP JV/Novice, including their only win against Chattahoochee A in recent history (Nirav Ilango was not present). Poor bonus conversion frustrated Zack greatly, but an encouraging phone call from Mr. Kim afterwards managed to calm him down. Assisted by Arvind's trusty captaining skills and freshman player Katie Torrance's lit knowledge, the team tied for fifth at GATA Winter Open North. This tournament will forever be remembered by Collins Hill players for a surprising 300-295 upset win against a Marist team that featured John Stathis, Maggie Schaeffer, Sebastian Kahf, and Brendan Phillips. Brendan, Sebastian, and Maggie would go on to form a trio that went on a long streak of dashing Collins Hill's chances of tournament victory the following season. The team's problem with bonus conversion continued at the 2nd Annual Blue Devil Tournament where they finished in the bottom part of Group D, in part thanks to 14.2 PPB. While Zack had a decent command of history for a sophomore, Arvind and Mary Nosa contributed points and Katie was building upon her knowledge of the literature canon, the lack of a science player or an experienced specialist made it hard for the Hill to come up with wins against the top teams in the state. Collins Hill JV finished third at JV State and the Varsity team tied for seventh at their respective state tournament. Katie Elliot and Manav Patel joined the team for the 2013 HSNCT in Atlanta. Zack put up 52.09 PP20TUH and was named a rising sophomore, but the team stalled out at 5-5. An abysmal 11.71 PPB kept the Eagles from advancing to the playoffs, but they did manage to win Arvind's final game of quiz bowl and send the captain off on a high note. In addition, Mr. Kim and former CHHS players Nancy Chung and Will Teich joined with Zack to form "The Chill Alumni (plus Zack)" at the 2013 Larry Munson Hybrid Tournament.

One final note: It was during this time period that Zack came to admire Dorman and adopt their distinctive buzzing technique.

2013-14

Seniors Kelsey Aylor and Allie Burg joined the Academic Team for their only season and won over Zack with their goofiness, a much-needed trait on a team dominated by someone as humorless as Zack. The team started out strong by finishing third at the Gwinnett County Tournament. CHHS then got upset by Woodward Academy at Walton Academic Challenge and finished tied for ninth. A loss to Hooch B earlier in the tournament caused Mr. Kim to join the crusade against designation rules . The team qualified for HSNCT at GATA Winter Open North despite narrowly losing to Athens Academy because of an Abraham Lincoln literature tossup (Zack hates lit questions that co-opt historical figures, events, or places). A 6-3 performance at CATT IX was followed by a 4-7 outing at WITT. The team lost the last four games in a row after beating Alpharetta (although Zack thought that they had lost to Alpharetta until Mr. Kim told him otherwise). However, a team of Zack, Kelsey, Allie, and Indy Schieber rebounded to go 6-2 at the Dorman Cavelier Challenge. It was one of Zack's favorite tournaments in high school due to a good question set, valuable teammates, and a surprising 350-305 upset win over Brookwood . The final game featured Zack with six powers and the team with 310 points against a vastly superior Chattahoochee squad. Later on, Zack got furious at Bulldog Brawl after losing close games to Marist and Dorman B, but Collins Hill still made the playoffs and pulled off an 80 point victory over Hooch B, only to get rekt by Hooch A in the next game. This set up an even greater comeback at Varsity State. CHHS would have lost to Valdosta had Zack not correctly guessed on a Gauss tossup , and they did lose to North Gwinnett by 35 and to Walton by 260. A slow reader meant that the team was one of the last to eat lunch . No one knew that double-elimination playoffs would bring the Eagles a trophy. After the obligatory loss to Hooch, Zack caught fire and lead the team to win over Centennial, Walton, Douglas County, and Alpharetta to set up a rematch with the Cougars. CHHS finally fell, but the afternoon streak put the team in second place amongst AAAAAA Georgia schools. Elliott Rountree's compliments put the icing on the cake (although Zack doesn't like icing, but it's an expression). After experiencing the season's greatest high, the Eagles would experience its greatest low when the five-person team finished 4-6 at 2014 HSNCT. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Zack forgot how to power questions (finishing with only eight powers and 12 negs), while the rest of the team combined for 13.11 PP20TUH (and you can imagine how bonus conversion went). Collins Hill B finished 3-7 at HSNCT>

Alumni

University of Georgia
Zack Johnson
Allie Burg
Manav Patel
Kenny Huang
Will Teich
Kyle Makita
Abel Melchiore
Indy Schieber
Daniel Nguyen
Hamza Naqawe

Emory
Nancy Chung

Georgia State
Arvind Ramachandran

Georgia Gwinnett College
Muhammad Saud

Elsewhere
Kelsey Aylor (Wofford)
James Gadea (Georgetown)
Brianna Igbinosun (MIT)
Mary Nosa (Columbia)
Kate Unsworth (Georgia Tech)
Vivek Patel
Katie Torrance
Min Kim (Florida)
Chris Saroza (University of Chicago)

Current Players

Seniors

  • Rubin Park
  • Celinna Riordan

Juniors

  • Jared Kissoon
  • Connor Maguire
  • Mikey McDonald
  • Fate Bussey

Sophomores

  • Milan Broughton
  • Matthew Sumanen
  • Naya Wu
  • Melenni Mey
  • Bunny Vasileva
  • Amanda Leikind
  • Steven Nguyen

Greatest Moments

2012 Centennial ATTACK
Arvind's Last Game
2014 WITT: Future Teammates
Cav Challenge
The Streak Ends
2015 NHBB
First Ever Playoff Birth
Hickman
2017 GATA Division I Champions

Georgia NASAT team members

  • Zack Johnson (2014)
  • Min Kim (2017, selected but unable to attend)