School Duel is the annual TV quiz show competition that pits South Florida’s top 20 high schools against one another, presented by BrightStar Credit Union and Chick-fil-A. Four-person teams compete in a single elimination tournament of academic trivia, and the winner of the tournament brings home a championship trophy for their school as well as a $1,000 check for each member of the team.
This year’s CCHS School Duel team was led by senior Yassen Mubarak and consisted of seniors John Lystad, Cole Frishman and Timothy Krause, with sophomore Nathan Berner serving as an alternate. Sponsor David Schultz handpicked the team after rigorous tryouts, with a focus on making sure the team’s knowledge was as diverse as possible. After members were selected, they practiced on end in preparation for the upcoming match.
“It was a great team,” Schultz said. “They were well-rounded: we had a person knowledgeable in sports, a person knowledgeable in geography and so on. I had great expectations.”
For their entry match of the season, Cooper City was up against Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The match started off with the Warning Shot round. In this round, every question is up for grabs by any members of either team. The first player to buzz in and answer correctly earns their team ten points, while an incorrect answer gives the other school’s team a chance to steal. Topics in this round ranged from elephants to statistics. Teams came out of the round neck-and-neck, with Marjory Stoneman Douglas leading by ten points with a score of 60.
The second round was the Joust, where one member from each team race against one another to answer a question correctly. The first student to answer correctly snags ten points and a chance at three extra bonus questions for their team. Coming out of the second round, the score was 100 to 120 with Marjory Stoneman Douglas still in the lead.
Next up was the Rapid Fire round, which consisted of each team trying to answer up to ten questions in a minute. As with the first round, missed questions are able to be stolen by the opposing team. Trailing behind on the scoreboard, Cooper City was given the advantage of selecting which category they would answer this round, and team captain Yassen Mubarak selected “Starts With B.” The final score coming out of round three was 150 to 230, with Cooper City still unable to pull themselves ahead of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Last up was the Final Showdown, a free-for-all series of questions worth 20 points each. In this round, the score got as close as 250 to 270, but Marjory Stoneman Douglas was able to secure the lead and leave with a victory. The round and match ended with a score of 350 to 430.
“It’s harder than it looks,” team member John Lystad said. “When you’re up there and actually competing your mind just goes blank to things that would usually be extremely easy.”
Though walking away with a loss this year, the Cooper City team holds their head high, looking upon the match as a learning experience.
For more information on the School Duel competition, watch new episodes live every Thursday at 7:00pm on BECON-TV or visit schoolduel.tv to watch episodes and learn more about the program.
Cooper City: 350
Stoneman Douglas: 430
Photo courtesy of Beacon TV