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Update: Mount Greylock Wins ‘As Schools Match Wits' Title
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:18AM / Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Che Guerra, Quin Repetto, Caleb Low and Parker Smith compete in New England Public Media's 'As Schools Match Wits.'

Update: Mount Greylock won the championship with a 310-155 win over Longmeadow. 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — If New England Public Media's "As Schools Match Wits" had questions about the meaning of perseverance or continuity, the Mount Greylock Mounties might ace those, too.
Mount Greylock this spring advanced to the championship match of the quiz show's 63rd season, which will be telecast on Saturday at 7 p.m.
And the Mounties did it with a team of four seniors that includes two three-year ASMW veterans and another competing in his second straight season.
One of the three-year veterans, Caleb Low, agreed that the team's collective experience paid off this year.
"I think it was a little bit different sophomore year (2022) because of the pandemic restrictions, but it's pretty much the same format," Low said this week. "I think getting that practice in tense situations, in close games and not close games as well — because we've been in those on both ends — has been helpful.
"I think all of us going back and watching old games from us and other schools as well to figure out the format, figure out what strategies work and what strategies don't work as much was a help."
The team is coached by Blair Dils, a longtime English teacher at the middle-high school who also is Low's coach on the varsity boys soccer team.
Low was joined this season by teammates Quin Repetto, Parker Smith and Che Guerra.
Repetto, who, like Low, has been on the team since sophomore year, said it felt good to make it to title match against Longmeadow after three years of trying.
"It's been really satisfying," Repetto said. "Getting to do this and move on to the later rounds was a good experience.
"I think it does definitely help to have more experience. I felt more comfortable, more confident because I knew what to expect. This time, there wasn't as much of an element of, ‘This is a new thing happening. What are the rules?' I think the prior knowledge of knowing all that helped."
In addition to watching past episodes of the show, the team also takes practice questions from Dils, but it's not the same as being in the arena, Repetto said.
"It definitely feels a lot different [in the studio]," they said. "It's not an environment you can recreate."
The Mount Greylock team had a good mix of students with complementary skill sets, Low said.
"I think it was a really fun group because we had people with different strengths for sure," he said. "Quin and Che are both very strong with literature, which is one of the categories in the ‘capitalization round.'
"Definitely they were strong in math, too, and there are a lot of questions with math and science. … Parker is very strong with geography. So am I — geography, world history. I think we balanced out nicely. I hesitate to say we got lucky, but there were a lot of rounds that were pretty good for the strengths and expertise we had as a group."
And the team had some fun with the competition, both among their teammates and across the studio with their opponents.
"I believe in the semi-final round, the other team, actually the host, Beth Ward, hadn't finished the question, and it was an analogy of fears: 'Arachnophobia is to spiders as … ' " Low said. "She didn't say the next thing, and the other team buzzed in and said ‘Heights,' which was the right answer. That was pretty funny."
And the tournament could be a reminder of how much high schoolers from around the region have in common.
"You do see people you know in different episodes," Low said. "I saw people I played soccer against for sure but also different musical activities like the Senior District Orchestra. Also in the Boys State program, there was a trivia team, and I was on it with a person from the Westfield [ASMW] team. It was fun to see the familiar faces all around."
This season's run of "As Schools Match Wits," which premiered in 1961, included teams from Lee, Lenox and Wahconah Regional in addition to Mount Greylock.
The Mounties beat East Granby, Conn., in the opening round, earning enough points to advance to the quarter-finals as the top seed, where they beat another Nutmeg State squad, Hall High School out of West Hartford, Conn.
In the semi-finals, Mount Greylock beat Westfield High and Longmeadow beat Pioneer Valley Christian to set up the title match that airs on Saturday evening.
Low said the team plans to get together for a watch party on Saturday evening, even though they won't have any suspense.
"The taping [of the tournament], I think was in March and April," Repetto said. "At the time, we couldn't really make an announcement [about the results], but they told us we could tell friends and family. The school just couldn't make announcements over the PA."
Past episodes of Season 63 of "As Schools Match Wits" by New England Public Media are available here.
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