8-0 victory begins Scholastic Bowl season


Photo provided by Terry Gatchell.

Scholastic Bowl team celebrates recent victory.

Zachary Bahar, Asst. News Editor and Asst. Copy Editor

The Scholastic Bowl team started their season strong with an 8-0 win at the David L. Riley Kickoff Tournament on Nov. 17.

“Everyone on the team did so well, we really just came out and did the best that we’ve ever done,” senior Jack Idler said.

Scholastic Bowl is a buzzer style trivia game in which two teams of five answer questions on a variety of topics ranging from history and literature to sports and computational mathematics.

The tournament, hosted at Stevenson High School, included schools from across the region such as Palatine, New Trier, Loyola and Fremd. The victory, one of the few tournament wins the team has had in recent memory, is a strong indicator of its strength.

“We’re a very, very strong team; last year we were good, we had players who could’ve been all state, but this year we’re even better just because of how deep our knowledge is,” senior captain Beni Keown said.

This fact is evident in the scores garnered both by the team as a whole and by individuals. Out of the eight matches played, none of them came closer than 70 points, with most being won by a margin of several hundred. In addition to this, Idler was one of 10 individual players recognized with a score of over 50 points per game.

“Doing well in these tournaments is the culmination of all the time I’ve spent in scholastic bowl since freshman year. It really feels amazing to have a tangible reward for all of the effort I’ve put it,” Idler said.

According to assistant coach Jakob Reinke, one of the reasons that Evanston was able to win was the balanced nature of the team.

“A lot of teams are carried by one person and we are definitely not,” senior captain Michael Frim said. “We’re not a team that has one person and four people just for show, we’re very much a team-based team.”

This is clear through looking at the stats. While Idler was the only Evanstonian to win recognition, fellow seniors Ben Timmins and Joe Whitcomb were close behind in points per game, with the rest of the team falling not far behind.

“[This is because] while we have specialists, every player has a broad knowledge base, which reinforces the team dynamic since everyone can contribute to a range of topics,” coach and chemistry teacher Terry Gatchell said.

One reason that this is the case, according to Keown, is the sense of community that members of the team feel.

“We’ve got a pretty tight knit group. It helps that we have a bunch of seniors who have known each other for four years but, even in between grades there’s no bad blood, everyone gets along well,” Keown said.

According to Keown, Frim, Gatchell and Reinke, the team has a fair shot at making nationals come spring, a competition in which they ranked top 200 in the 2017-18 season.

“If [our victory] is an indicator of anything, it bodes very well,” Frim said. “[But,] we still need to practice, we still need to go into every match putting in 110%. We can feel more confident and we can feel more ready.”

Scholastic Bowl meets in H318 after school from 3:45 to 4:45 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.