Many clubs compete this year virtually

Competing is what most people look forward to in their activity of choice, be it a sport or a club. However many activities have had to either lessen or completely quit competing this year. Yet, despite the circumstances presented this year, some clubs and activities are still competing, in some alternative ways.

One of these is the Math Team, a group that enjoys learning and practicing their math skills. They learn about more advanced mathematical concepts not regularly taught in school and apply their knowledge in competitions.

“We have meets, Regionals, Conference, and some of the students who do well at Regionals get to go to State. We have a few different types of competitions. We have individual competitions, which look like a normal math test, but really difficult. It is 20 questions. If you can get more than half, you’re probably going to place pretty well. There is also an eight-person competition and a team competition where the kids get to collaborate together,” said Math Team sponsor Alex DeGroh.

The team has only been able to compete once this year, however in the past, the Math Team has competed in Regionals and even State. 

“We have only had one competition so far against Central. Central won, but the Math Team is kind of like wrestling, where you can do well individually, but still have the team lose. So our calculator team did really well; they won their competition. Our sophomores did really well. In the past we have won Regionals and gone down to State. We placed 12th in State that year,” DeGroh said.

Unlike the Math Team, the Academic Team competes using their knowledge of a broad range of subjects, including music, literature, science, history, and much more. The students in this club learn about a large amount of topics and answer questions on them in their competitions.

“Usually we would go to another school, play a few games against a few different schools. This year we are doing head to head match-ups against other schools in the conference. This year in our competitions, we have a website that gives us questions. One person reads them out. The students can then buzz in if they think they know the answer. We do about 20 questions, and whichever team has the most points at the end wins that match. Usually there’s more going on, but this year it is a lot more straight-forward,” said Academic Team sponsor Noah Scibbe.

Despite many issues, the Academic Team has been able to compete quite a lot this year, however not as much as in a regular year. 

“So far the varsity squad has not gotten their first win yet, but we have been super close. I have a feeling it’s going to happen very soon. We played Round Lake the other week, and it was down to the final question. We even had a lead, and they swiped it from us at the end. It was super close. The JV squad has only had two competitions so far. They just had their second competition, and they got their first win, which was really exciting. The varsity squad has had four games. We are zero and four, one and one for the JV squad, ” Scibbe said.

The Chess Club, as the name implies, strays away from school taught topics, instead competing in a game. The members of the club learn a lot of strategies and improve by playing games and competing in chess tournaments. Just as all other activities, the Chess Club has changed how they compete, but is still the same at its core, a group of people who enjoy playing chess.

“This year we have been playing online, using an online chess platform. Thus far we have had a few scrimmages, more informal competitions, primarily playing against Central and Round Lake. Typically we do have a formal NLCC chess competition, but we did not have that this year since we were virtual,” said Chess Club sponsor Adrijana Bisevac.

Because of the game’s very hands-on nature, the Chess Club has dramatically changed what they do in their weekly meetings this year. However, as circumstances change, the Chess Club, and other activities, may be able to return to how they met and competed before.

“In our meetings this year, we have really only been playing against each other. When we are in person, it is easier to do things like work on strategy because you can talk about it and project it on a screen, and so much more. So I think it is more difficult to do it in an online format,” Bisevac said.