2016-17. Longfellow Exhibits Depth
Longfellow spent the first half of the year adjusting to losing the tandem of Justin Young and William Wang. Jake Shue was in prime position to take over history duties. Lucia Rathke was slated for literature. The other areas were still up in the air.
Longfellow suffered a disappointing loss at Centennial to Norfolk Academic Guild, but the tournament did give players like Alan Qi and Sathya Gnanakumar a chance to prove themselves.
At Manheim, Longfellow A and B took first and second place respectively and the final was a close match where newcomers Ryan Shue and Sam Asimos (a transfer from James W. Johnson in Florida) impressed.
As nationals approached, Mr. Huang began to use a more systematic approach to studying, namely EMH cards, and it immediately paid dividends for some players such as Gnanakumar.
When it was time to select teams for nationals, Mr. Huang put together an A team of specialists: Jake Shue, Rathke, Alan Qi and Kevin Zhang. The B team consisted of captain Ryan Shue, Sathya Gnanakumar, Sam Asimos and 7th grader Sean Choi. Unfortunately, the talented 7th grader Rachel Trainer could not go to nationals.
At nationals, after a smooth day or preliminaries, both teams stumbled in the playoffs. Longfellow A did avenge the loss to Norfolk earlier in the season but ended up tied for 13th. Longfellow B did impress as a B team and also ended up tied for 13th, making Mr. Huang wonder if he picked the right players to complement Jake Shue. Still, Longfellow proved to be the deepest school at MSNCT, being the only school to place two schools in the top 20.