Chief’s Quiz Bowl compete on the Long Island Challenge

Melanie Sheehan, Staff Writer

Massapequa’s Long Island Challenge team traveled to Metropolis Studios in uptown Manhattan on October 26 to compete in The Challenge. Unfortunately, they lost the academic quiz show, which aired on MSG Varsity on November 13.

The team, comprised of junior Joe Zappa and seniors Tyler Novet, Dylan Spiro, and team captain Nick Barbieri, lost in the first round of the competition to Syosset by a score of 420 to 215.

Still, Ms. Rena Drezner, the team’s advisor, was pleased with the team’s performance.  “Although we lost, it was on points, not on questions answered,” said Drezner.  “They knew the answers; they just couldn’t buzz in fast enough.”

An audience of about thirty students, parents, and teachers was present to cheer on both teams. The audience enjoyed the Chiefettes’ performance to “Hit the Lights,” which was written by the show’s host Jared Cotter, who was delightfully surprised. Cotter was previously the FUSE TV host and an American Idol semi-finalist, according to At Ms. Drezner’s request, he sang “Down” before the competition began, which he also co-wrote.

Senior Mike Cantalupo was also in attendance, dressed as a chief in a costume which included a feather headdress and a leather shirt and pants. “My third time coming to The Challenge I wanted to go above and beyond to cheer on my fellow classmates,” Cantalupo said.

Students from Nassau County, Suffolk County, Connecticut, Westchester and the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and New York City compete in the competition, according to These students from all over the tri-state area are competing for a grand prize of $10,000 for their school and $500 for each student.

Although the Massapequa team suffered an unfortunate loss, it is an accomplishment that students from our school are getting attention on a state-wide level, and their showdown against Syosset can still be viewed on

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