If you asked most people in the school give you the answer to a question based off of only the words “The Hepburn Act,” they would probably give you a blank stare. Alex Kling, the co-captain and star player of Latin’s Scholastic Bowl team would be able to tell you that the answer to this question is Teddy Roosevel. Alex’s extensive and sometimes obscure knowledge has helped lead the team to countless victories, including a win at sectionals. It has even secured him a spot on the exclusive Illinois team, which comprises only four people, who will represent Illinois against other states in national competitions this summer.
But the team would not be complete with Alex alone. At the Masonic sectionals, Tom Kloehn’s geographical prowess, senior Dan Davies’ sports knowledge, co-captian and senior Elaine Zhou’s literature expertise, senior Darcy Tuttle’s mythological mastery, junior Peter Wiggin’s math intellect, and sophomore Yinga Xia’s sharp scientific knowledge gave the varsity team the extra edge they need to beat key rivals such as New Trier, Loyola Academy, Stevenson, St. Ignatius, Oak Park and River Forest, Macomb, and Carbondale. As Yinga puts it, “Scholastic bowl is more than a team – it’s a family.” Alex also comments, “There’s a great atmosphere around the team too, and this I’d say transcends scholastic bowl as well.”
Alex is often asked how he got so good at Scholastic Bowl, particularly after his impressive showing at the Winter Carnival Quiz Bowl event at gathering a few weeks ago. The answer is hard work. As he puts it, “I’ve read quite a few poems, short stories, and plays and am constantly on Wikipedia. I’ve also read books on economics, philosophy, and religion, and I’m trying my best to learn science. I also run through about two hundred questions a day, which I find online. When I’m in head-on study mode, I spend at least 2-3 hours a day studying.” He would also like to issue a public apology to his AP European History class for asking obscure questions “purely to get a couple points the next Saturday.”
But the passion that Alex and the rest of the team show is about more than just winning. The knowledge the team has is invaluable, and everyone on the team can learn a lot from the others’ knowledge. Alex says that one of the main reasons he loves studying for Scholastic Bowl and participating in it is “learning something incredible” from reading packets from other games.
What’s next? As the seniors graduate and say their final goodbyes to a successful four years on Latin’s Scholastic Bowl team, keep your eye out for the promising underclassmen and juniors on the team. In Alex’s words, “They’ve got time. That’s the secret to scholastic bowl. There’s absolutely a mountain of information to learn, but you’ve got years to learn it. It’s not like you have to know everything in a week.”
Scholastic Bowl got 4th in State—the best Latin has done since moving up to the AA division. Best of luck to Alex and the Illinois team this summer against other states!]]>