Two Samanthas, Two Jakes, One Dylan and One Ana: A deeper look into the CCHS’ Brain Brawl team Two Samanthas, Two Jakes, One Dylan and One Ana: A deeper look into the CCHS’ Brain Brawl team
BY CHRIS GOMES Game shows have been a big hit within pop culture since the beginning. Jeopardy, Family Feud and countless others continue to... Two Samanthas, Two Jakes, One Dylan and One Ana: A deeper look into the CCHS’ Brain Brawl team


Game shows have been a big hit within pop culture since the beginning. Jeopardy, Family Feud and countless others continue to amass thousands and millions of views. Trivia shows like the aforementioned Jeopardy continue to be popular and act as mainstays in entertainment. 

Similar to Jeopardy, CCHS’ Brain Brawl team participates in a game of trivia with competition from other schools. Teams consist of up to six players, but only four can play at any given time. Trivia consists of four subject areas, including math, natural science, social science and humanities. The Lariat spoke to members of the Brain Brawl team to look more into how their interests in the Brain Brawl team formed, and their responsibilities and goals on the team.

Jake Adams

Jake Adams is responsible for managing the team’s history and geography knowledge, though it is an unstated responsibility. Adams was placed nationally in middle school for the History Bee.

“I joined the Brain Brawl team because I’ve had an affinity for quiz bowls,” Adams said. “I was able to join via being in the National Honor Society (NHS), where tryouts were being held during one of the meetings.”

Adams cites Jeopardy as helping him improve his skills that apply to Brain Brawl.

“I watch Jeopardy when it airs which definitely helps with Brain Brawl information,” Adams said. “The unstated responsibility I have is to brush up on history and geography knowledge, as each member of the team has a specific category that they specialize in.”

Dylan Bober

Dylan Bober is a senior, and captain for the Brain Brawl team, hoping to revive CCHS’ status in the tournament. 

“I applied to be captain of the Brain Brawl team because I wanted to relaunch Cooper City’s participation in the tournament, which we have been very successful in so far,” Bober said. “As captain, I ran the tryouts to select the rest of the team, and practices to help prepare for competition.”

Bober hopes to achieve continued success by running the team to ensure efficiency overall. He also draws inspiration from his involvement as the School Duel captain in giving him experience in Brain Brawl. 

“Outside of Brain Brawl, I’m captain of the School Duel team, which gave me a lot of the experience needed for this position, since it’s a similar sort of trivia competition,” Bober said.

Samantha Carozzi

Samantha Carozzi is a junior, who is mostly responsible for managing the team’s math and science categories. 

“I ended up joining the team because I wanted to try something new, and it ended up being fun, especially because we haven’t lost yet,” Carozzi said. “The team is pretty well-balanced, meaning certain people are responsible for answering questions in subjects that they are strongest in; I usually answer most of the math and chemistry questions.”

Carozzi credits her involvement in Mu Alpha and Debate for improving her confidence and ability to answer questions, as well as her involvement on the school’s volleyball team for understanding the importance of teamwork.

“Other than the brain brawl team, I participate in Debate and Mu Alpha. I think that using skills gained from both of these activities will allow me to better answer the questions, and be more confident in doing so,” Carozzi said. “I also play volleyball at CCHS, which definitely helped me understand the value of teamwork.”

Jake Liguori 

Jake Liguori is a senior, who joined Brain Brawl because he’s always loved trivia and desired to compete.

“I joined Brain Brawl because I’ve always loved trivia and thought it would be fun to compete,” Liguori said. “As a primary member of the team, my responsibility is to compete with the team, and of course win.”

Liguori credits his involvement in other clubs in letting himself focus on multiple things at once.

“I participate in multiple clubs, like Kids Association for Mindfulness in Education (KAME), and it helps me to not burnout myself on one thing at a time,” Liguori said. 

Ana Rodriguez-Valdes

Ana Rodriguez-Valdes is a senior, who is an alternate at the moment, filling in for anyone that cannot attend competitions. Despite this, Rodriguez-Valdes is still very much involved on the team.

“During competitions, I’m given a chance to answer questions using my own personal buzzer or I can help the captain answer bonus questions,” Rodriguez-Valdes said. “To join the Brain Brawl team, you have to be an NHS member, and our team captain held tryouts for anyone that wanted to be on the team. For tryouts, I had to answer a set of random trivia questions and people with the highest score were chosen for the team.”

Rodriguez-Valdes joined the Brain Brawl team due to the ability to connect trivia to several aspects of life. 

“I joined Brain Brawl because I love watching trivia at home and trying to answer the questions with my family. I thought getting to compete against other schools would be a fun activity for me to test my knowledge,” Rodriguez-Valdes said. “I love trivia because you can connect almost every part of your life to it. It’s not strictly academic, I can answer questions based on soccer or music or books. It’s a great combination of testing what I learn in school and what I learn from pop culture as well as activities in my day-to-day life.”

Samantha Winick

Samantha Winick is a senior, who joined Brain Brawl in quest of expanding her knowledge and had experience in middle school doing it, so decided to do it in high school as well. 

“I joined the Brain Brawl team as a part of National Honor Society (NHS),” Winick said. “I had also done Brain Brawl in middle school as a part of National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), so I was hoping to continue that in high school.”

Winick cites her drive in the reasoning for joining Brain Brawl through NHS.

Their success has been evident as they have won six rounds and made their way to the district championship.