Homestead High School captures National Journalism Quiz Bowl trophy

Homestead High School captures National Journalism Quiz Bowl trophy

By Allie Staub, Quiz Bowl coordinator

Junior Rajiv Venkatesh along with seniors Niyatee Jain, Keshav Kumar and Joss Broward, from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California were named National Journalism Quiz Bowl champions on Nov. 12 at the Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis.

With 35 teams competing, this was one of the largest quiz bowls in Quiz Bowl history. 

Students on the winning team represented The Epitaph staff (Homestead’s student newspaper) and each brought their own expertise to the competition. Jain is the senior sports editor. Broward is the photo illustration editor and a co-copy editor. Kumar is the co-senior opinion editor. Venkatesh is the arts and culture editor and also co-copy editor with Broward. The team is advised by Natalie Owsley, CJE.

This was Homestead’s first time competing in the National Journalism Quiz Bowl.

To determine the initial seeding of the 35 registered teams, the teams of four students took an online qualifying test on Nov. 11. The next day, the top 16 qualifying teams met for four rapid-fire buzzer rounds, answering questions pertaining to current events, journalism law and terminology, and civics. The team that scored the highest of 10 questions proceeded to the next round and for the final round, the winner had to score the highest out of 20 questions. 

At the outset of the competition, Homestead was seeded third and Carlmont High School —the runner-up-team — was seeded fifth. Both teams had two teams playing from their schools; with both Homestead and Carlmont beating previous Quiz Bowl champion schools Torrey Pines High School and duPont Manual High School. It was a tight race from the start with both teams playing strong throughout the early rounds. The final score was 1-5.

Even though it was their first time competing at the National Journalism Quiz Bowl, two of their team members, Kumar and Venkatesh, participated in their school’s quiz bowl and the other members brought their skills to the team as well.

“All four of us have either taken or are currently in advanced placement U.S. history,” Broward said. “I also like to watch Jeopardy, and I like trivia, and I follow pop culture a lot,” Jain said.

Leading up to the championship rounds, the anticipation was intense. 

“It was more stressful waiting than actually competing,” Broward said.

“Once we got some points on the board, we felt like we had a little breathing room,” Venkatesh said.

After all that waiting, the win came as a pleasant surprise.

“It felt amazing, and we were in shock,” Kumar said. “Because we hadn’t done that much preparation and it was our first time competing here.

“We had no idea that we would win, and we didn’t even consider it,” Broward said. “It was just something we thought we’d do for fun, and we won.”

Teams competing in Quiz Bowl were from Texas, California, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia, Alabama and Oregon.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

Password Reset
Please enter your email address and press [Return] or [Enter]. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

If you don't receive it within a few minutes, please call (785-532-5532) or email us (, and we'll be happy to assist you.