Kaneland Scholastic Bowl team celebrates successful season

By on April 11, 2014
Kaneland High School’s Scholastic Bowl team this season earned a Regional Championship and Sectional second-place finish. Coach Ken Dentino (front, left ro right), Omar Aguilar, Anna Piazza, Morgan Buerke and Muneeb Rehman; Axel Larsen (back), Ethan Witt, Matt Kalinowski, Alex Buzenski and Blaine Rivas.  Photo submitted by Kaneland High School to sfrazier@elburnherald.com

Kaneland High School’s Scholastic Bowl team this season earned a Regional Championship and Sectional second-place finish. Coach Ken Dentino (front, left ro right), Omar Aguilar, Anna Piazza, Morgan Buerke and Muneeb Rehman; Axel Larsen (back), Ethan Witt, Matt Kalinowski, Alex Buzenski and Blaine Rivas.
Photo submitted by Kaneland High School to sfrazier@elburnherald.com

KANELAND—Ken Dentino experienced success coaching Kaneland High School’s Scholastic Bowl team this school year.

Dentino, a math teacher at KHS, gives his team of 20 students some advice from time to time.
“Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of coaching that I do other than encourage them to study and have fun with it and to try to broaden their knowledge base,” Dentino said. “Because either you know the material or you don’t.”

He also encouraged the students to pay attention in the classroom and go to websites where they can learn obscure information.

That advice paid off.

The school’s Scholastic Bowl team has earned accomplishments including a Regional Scholastic Bowl Championship title and second-place showing in the Sectional, where it defeated Woodstock Marian 200-130 and Cary-Grove 270-250.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” Dentino said. “I’m overwhelmed with how well they did this year. I’m just excited about how much they’ve been able to accomplish through their hard work.”

Matt Kalinowski, senior team member, likes the idea of the school’s team earning the regional title.
“It felt really good, honestly,” Kalinowski said.

The team’s season lasted from November to March. The members gathered on Mondays and Tuesdays to create mock tournaments.

During real competitions, the team competed against other high schools, with uniforms consisting of ties and pants.

And they’d have to be ready to hit a buzzer to answer a variety of questions in subjects such as math, popular culture, science and literature. Students could be asked about aspects of the cartoon show “The Simpsons,” solve a math problem, identify an author, or even be asked about something related to Lady Gaga.

Kalinowski pointed out that even though the team could practice for the competition, the team had no idea what the questions would be. In addition, what the team studied might not be questions asked during a competition.

“We’re totally, completely blind, hoping for the best,” Kalinowski said.

Ethan Witt, senior captain, reflected on the season’s accomplishments.

“It was just a monumental season,” Witt said. “And it really brought Kaneland into that spotlight.”

Nicolas Likeum, senior team member, reflected on what the team meant to him.

“It’s kind of like a family,” Likeum said. “We hang out and crack jokes.”

Team members have particular areas of knowledge so they can push their buttons to answer questions.

Muneeb Rehman, senior team member, specializes in facts pertaining to science, world history, biology and Asian culture/history.

“It was a wonderful year, and I had a great time,” she said.

About Stefanie Frazier

Stefanie Frazier is a freelance reporter for the Elburn Herald. You can reach her at SFrazier@elburnherald.com.

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