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Kaneland Connection: Dressed for success

Dressed up in black, and decked out in gray ties, the Kaneland Scholastic Bowl team sported a look of success. The results backed that up.

Last weekend, the team finished a season that included its third consecutive regional title and its second Northern Illinois Big 12 crown in three years. It ended up third in sectional competition. The team also won its own 32-team invitational in January.

And no matter what the outcome, the sharp-dressed team’s uniforms had it ready to make a statement.

“They make it seem we are in it to play the game,” said team captain Cameron Carlson, who said not all teams have such an outfit. Teammate Ethan Witt said the outfits “give us an aura of professionalism.”

Three key members of the team – Carlson, Witt and Chris Farrell – touted the team’s emergence and encouraged those interested to join the team in the future. Carlson and Witt have been on the team since they were freshmen, but Farrell joined as a junior. 

“It’s a great club, and it’s a great time,” Farrell said. He said it could help when submitting college applications and scholarship applications. He said those who doubt they could be on such a team should give it a try.

The teammates said potential members shouldn’t think they need to be at the top of their class to join. Carlson said members do have to have knowledge and “be quick and smart,” but they don’t have to know everything about every subject. 

“Everyone is pretty good at something,” Carlson said.

Witt said he joined because his brother, Elliot, previously had been a member of the team. He said Elliot and Carlson are good friends, and Carlson broke Elliot’s team record for most successful toss-up questions answered in a season.

The format is like a game show, although Farrell said questions tend “to be a little more academic than ‘Jeopardy.’ ” Farrell said serious players will need to practice and work on potential questions.

Ken Dentino, the team’s coach, said the finish at sectionals would place the team among the top 25 in the state, considering there are 32 teams in sectional competition, and Kaneland finished third in its sectional.

Others on the team are Morgan Buerk, Beau Ott, Anna Piazza, Nic Likeum, Josh Rodriguez, Joe Brasfield and Matt Kalinowski.  


Knight of Performances

More than 420 people attended the Knight of Performances at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, which raises money for the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. The event featured entertainment provided by Kaneland students throughout the night.

Denise Blaszynski, president of the boosters, said more than 70 items were donated by local businesses and individuals, and she said more than $3,000 was raised.

The boosters plan to make it an annual event.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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