Scholastic Bowl Season Preview 2018-2019


Members of the Scholastic Bowl team posing for a picture during practice.

By Wyatt Zwik , Academics Editor

Ready? Set? Buzz! In the Niles West Scholastic Bowl team, students compete in a variety of trivia topics, from social studies to mathematics to literature, by being the fastest to buzz in and answer correctly. Last year was social studies teacher and coach Matthew Wiemer first year leading the team, and believes they had an exciting and successful year.

“The JV team was phenomenal last year, they finished second in conference. A lot of those strong students are moving up to varsity this year which is exciting because I feel like our varsity was already strong,” Wiemer said. “We had some really good matches last year, and we had some really close ones. We won one by one question, and we lost the conference by one question.”

According to varsity member and senior Muhammad Afzal, the team was a bit inconsistent in their placements but still had fun throughout the season.

“Last season was fun, but a bit shaky to be honest,” Afzal said. “We started out strong and were able to beat a couple of schools, but gradually, with fewer people showing up and mixed up schedules, we were off our game. It was a great time though, with lots of laughs, food, and trivia.”

Team captain and senior Hana Frisch hopes to do better at the various meets and looks forward to competing at the regional competition for the first time in club history.

“Last season went okay, we won some matches. At conference, we actually lost our match by one point,” Frisch said. “This season I’m hoping that we can win some more matches and get farther in our conference. I’m also hoping we can build up our JV team and also do well in regionals, which we’re going to for the first time.”

The junior varsity team, which consists of freshmen and sophomores, did exceptionally well in the conference finals last year, coming in 2nd place. However, the team was mainly built on sophomores, who are now juniors, and will be on the junior and senior varsity team.

“We have a strong group of seniors, and I think our goal is mainly to strengthen up the JV team. We lost all those good JV kids because they’re all now juniors. That’s kind of the goal, try to recruit for a future program,” Wiemer said.

Afzal believes that better organization and preparation for their forthcoming competitions will be the key to their success this season.

“This season I am hoping that with more members joining, we can have a more effective team. We are more organized this year, so we are more prepared for the upcoming meets. We hope that with many more members, we can have lots more trivia practice and exponentiate our fun,” Afzal said.

To anyone who is interested in joining the team, Frisch thinks that the club shows members a variety of new information and topics that students don’t often get exposed to in class, all while in a competitive environment.

“It’s really fun. You get to learn new things you’ve ever really heard or thought about before, and you get to be in sort of competitive mode where there are buzzers. Also, there are not that many people so you get to have actual playing time which you might not get with other clubs,” Frisch said.

Scholastic Bowl meets in room 1220 on Mondays after school.