Stories of the NSC: Lindbergh High School

by Colin McNamara

Lindbergh is in their third year playing quiz bowl. While this is their first time coming to the NSC, this is not their first national championship tournament. After just competing in two local tournaments their first year of existence, they qualified two teams for the HSNCT their second year, with both teams finishing 5-5. After graduating a lot of seniors last year, the team qualified for the NSC again this year.

Lindbergh comes out of a strong Missouri circuit, along with fellow NSC team Mexico. Lindbergh wanted to play in the NSC this year to experience a different tournament, and they were looking forward to the challenge of playing a 16 game schedule over the weekend.

In the ten games they played on Saturday, they had two close games–a 30 point loss and a 40 point win, and two heartbreakingly close games, a 10 point loss decided on the final question and a 10 point win where they managed to hold on to a win when their opponent 0’d the bonus. It’s much harder to lose like this than to lose in a blowout, the team said. In a blowout, you just know that the other team is better than you are. The Lindbergh players in the game don’t keep score because they prefer not to know it. They don’t know how close the game is, so in a close game, the players always feel like they’re a few points behind and there’s pressure to get that next TU to try to catch up.

Lindbergh went 1-4 in the prelim bracket, and then followed that up by going 5-0 in the playoffs. In a tournament like this, the final placing can be determined by the slimmest of margins. Had they won the two close games in the prelims, they’d be several brackets higher in today’s placement games. The initial seeding of teams for the prelims can also affect how teams finish in prelims.

Lindbergh appreciates some of the creative answerlines in the NSC. Among their favorite questions yesterday was the tossup on cavalry charges, a question about the film industry, and the tossup on J. R. R. Tolkien.

Besides reading old packets, the team has some favorite ways to study. Science player Vidur reads college textbooks all day. Cindy, their myth specialist, loves to do deep dives on Wikipedia. Tommy, a newcomer to the team this year, has a penchant for history podcasts.

Photos by Colin McNamara

ed.: This interview was conducted on Sunday morning before play began. The Flyers went 5-2 in the suplerplayoffs, including their carryover win against St. Thomas of Texas. They ended the NSC with a final record of 10-6 and secured 51st place. We can’t wait to see how the Lindbergh team continues to grow in the future!