Masterminds in Medina undefeated in regular season with playoffs April 30

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 25 April 2021 at 10:29 am

Provided photos: The Masterminds team competed virtually against the other teams and is undefeated so far this season.

MEDINA – A team of students at Medina High School are undefeated in a national academic varsity quiz tournament.

The Masterminds is led by algebra teacher Jeff Dole and includes freshman Alex Balaban, juniors David Berry, Isaac Pace and Arian Cayea, and seniors Suvi Biesinger, Alwyn Cayea and Carter Green, who make up the varsity team.

Jeff Dole, math teacher at Medina High School and adviser for the undefeated Masterminds, talks with senior David Berry, a member of the team. They will compete in the league playoffs on April 30 in Rochester.

The team is 12-0 for the first time in its history. Balaban is high scorer in the league with 570 points. Pace is fourth with 345 points.

There are also two junior varsity teams, one of which is 7-5 and the other 4-8.

The varsity Masterminds have placed first before, but have never been undefeated until this year, Dole said. Their score as of a week ago was 3,250 points, while the nearest competitor was 1,460 points.

Due to the Covid pandemic, the teams have had to compete online this year in the league, which includes teams from Albion, Holley, Kendall and Pembroke. They will face off April 30 with nine teams in the Rochester league. The top three will advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Topics of trivia can be on any subject, Dole said. This includes everything from comic books, sports and history to current events in the world and math.

Dole said the kids like competing in trivia, and whenever they can go to a competition they make an event of it.

“We stop and eat and socialize on the bus,” Dole said. “The kids also like talking to the students at other schools.”

Dole said some of the students decided not to join the team this year because they didn’t like the online format.

Each of the members of the team is especially knowledgeable in a different subject. Alex is an expert in geography and history; Isaac is well rounded; and David knows a lot about sports. Carter knows a lot about pop culture, while Alwyn’s strong points are Greek mythology, science and Roman gods.

“They all have their strong points,” Dole said.

In addition to the Masterminds, Dole coaches varsity track and junior varsity volleyball.