MAPLE PARK – When Ken Dentino seeks to draw people to the Kaneland High School Scholastic Bowl team, he puts on a show. Unlike other athletic competitions, the event plays out like a game show, and the school’s longtime coach highlights that each year to eighth-graders at the school’s orientation event.
“We make a pretty big showing,” said Dentino, a math teacher who is in his 15th year as coach of the team. The group will bring out buzzers and demonstrate that it’s like a team version of “Jeopardy.”
The tactic has brought success. The team last weekend collected a Northern Illinois Big 12 championship – its second in the past two years. Its conference East Division title was its third straight. And Monday, the team will seek its third consecutive regional championship.
The seven-team regional takes place at the high school, at 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park, and Kaneland is the favorite. Also at the event will be Dundee-Crown, Burlington Central, Sycamore, Jacobs, Mendota and Cary-Grove.
Kaneland is captained by Cameron Carlson, who is joined by Ethan Witt, Chris Farrell, Beau Ott, Nic Likeum, Morgan Buerke, Anna Piazza and Matt Kalinowski.
A championship would be a reward for a significant commitment. The season starts in November.
“There’s a long season to it,” Dentino said. “I would say about 80 percent of the Saturdays are all-day tournaments.”
The regional event will start at 4:30 p.m., and Dentino said it is an audience-friendly atmosphere.
“Fans definitely are welcome,” he said.
The regional champion will head to Rockford Auburn High School for the sectional round, which is set for March 9.