The unofficial motto of the St. Ignatius Brain Brawl is for each student and each team to “be bold.” On Saturday, October 12, the St. Bernadette team of Matt Daugherty (8th), Max Erdos (7th), Rachel Garlock (8th), Libby Hammer (8th), Greg Rayle (7th), Charlotte Thompson (8th) was the ‘bold’est of any Bulldogs team to compete in the nine-year-old competition.
The St. Ignatius Brain Brawl is an annual academic and general trivia competition featuring 24 teams from around the Diocese participating in head to head matchups and a final, single elimination tournament to decide a champion. One and two points are awarded for correct answers in topics covering literature, math, history, pop culture, and sports and leisure.
St. Bernadette finished the round robin pool play with a 4-1 record. The Bulldogs finished second in their six-team pool behind St. Raphael, earning the #6 overall seed – out of 24 teams – and placing in the championship bracket. No other St. Bernadette team has earned a spot in the top bracket to date.
The team won four consecutive matches for the first time in school history; winning each by an average of 20 points. The team defeated St. Mark and Lakewood Catholic Academy in back-to-back matches by scores of 55-30 and 53-33.
Overall, St. Bernadette correctly hammered out a combined 39 of 50 toss-up questions in the lightning rounds against St. Mark, LCA, St. Paschal, and Incarnate Word Academy.
History – covering such diverse topics as: American Presidents, Egyptian Pharaohs and 20th Century Fascist leaders – was one of the strengths of the team during the four-match winning streak, as the Bulldogs maxed out on available points during that portion in each of the games.
The Bulldogs also outscored all six of their opponents in the “Letter Round” of each matchup, where teams have four minutes to answer 20 written questions related to one specific letter, Scattergories-style.
St. Bernadette was eliminated in the quarterfinals in a matchup against the St. Barnabas Blazers (Northfield). The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 14 points in the match, closed to within 6 during the buzz-in lightning round, but dropped the match 48-36 as St. Barnabas answered three of the final four 2-point questions correctly, narrowly winning the match.