Season Preview: Scholastic Bowl

By Teodora Simic, Staff Writer

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The Scholastic Bowl is an academic team at Niles West that competes in trivia-like competitions against various schools in the CSL conference. The varsity team consists of juniors and seniors and a JV team for freshmen and sophomores.

The team travels to different schools for matches that consist of questions in categories including fine arts, science, math, and social studies. During meetings before matches, students in the Scholastic Bowl take the time to prepare for the content they need to know. The work is split up among students so that each student or small group of students focuses on a few subjects. One student may focuses on studying operas and works of art while another is working hard to improve their math skills with probability.

The two teams are coached and sponsored by Lia Sosa and Matthew Wiemer. Both sponsors are proud of the vast successes the teams have had so far this year.

“This is my first year sponsoring this club along with Ms. Sosa, who has been sponsoring the Scholastic Bowl for the past ten years. She’s a great teaching partner as well as a great sponsoring partner because she helps me figure everything out,” Wiemer said. “If we win, that’s great because it’s a lot of fun. If we don’t win, that’s fine as long as the kids have fun and enjoy themselves.”

The Scholastic Bowl is for students who are passionate about learning and academic topics. In this club, sponsors Sosa and Wiemer say they get to know students on a different level.

“When I first started teaching at West, I knew I wanted to be involved with Scholastic Bowl right away, since I competed in high school. Luckily, the junior varsity position opened up the following school year, and I’ve held on to it ever since,” Sosa said. “My favorite part of Scholastic Bowl is having, potentially, a four-year relationship with students I might not encounter as their classroom teacher. These students are some of West’s best, brightest, and most entertaining.”

The team enjoys the time they spend together and the members challenge each other during practices. Not only do they learn large amounts of interesting information, but they also learn how to effectively study. They also share an interesting sense of humor and some odd traditions, like having cheese at every meet. All the members are extremely grateful to have each other.

“Scholastic Bowl allows me to learn different pieces of information, in competition and out — possibly understanding concepts which I may learn in school later on. It also helps me to sharpen my studying skills, as much memorization is required for this competition. The team works really well together, even though it’s a combination of juniors and seniors who don’t regularly spend time together. The friendships and experiences I have gained from the Scholastic Bowl are really good, and we have lots of fun together,” junior Muhammad Afzal said. “I would encourage anyone to join, even if they don’t believe they are good enough. Honestly, they could probably still teach our team a thing or two.”

Don’t let the academic part of the scholastic bowl scare you. They are always looking for interested new members. The Scholastic Bowl team meets on Tuesdays in room 1220.

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