Mathletes Look To Repeat Conference Champs

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By Madelyn Valencia & Saja Hatu

Staff reporters

The Shepard Mathletes team looks to repeat as South Suburban Conference Red Division

champs. The have already won some  competitions so far and are currently ranked first out of 14 schools.
The top team members of the team consist of freshman/sophomore competitors Joe Cincus and
Colton Sterling in competition.

Coach Maureen Kall, said, “They have been rocking it this year.”

Other top performers include seniors Samantha Leyden, Ellie McGovern, and Nancy Nguyen.
Junior standouts include Danny Kleina, Henish Patel, Chole Ayers, Katyln Begley and Eva
Kozlowski. Sophomores Alana Smith, Kara Born, and Alison Zemeckis have excelled and
freshman Dragos Cojocariu, Nora Freider, Owen McGovern and Alex Ramirez also are strong
contributors.

Most people are not familiar with how Mathletes competitions work. How exactly is Mathletes
scored? Coach James explains each level has two main tests in which six students go in and they
take the top five scored from each school for each test. Each competition has new topics. Five
scores are counted for 50 point tests.

There is then a group round which five students work together to solve 20 problems. This is
worth 50 points. There are two oral competitions, one for freshman/sophomores and one for
juniors/seniors. Two students then work together to solve a series of problems and then
present/explain it to the judges. These competitions are worth up to 50 points as well. All of the
tests are scored and the final tally is taken.

In each match there are three senior events, three junior events, three sophomores events and
three freshman events. There is one freshman/sophomore oral presentation and one
junior/senior oral presentation.

A typical season consists of four regular season matches, one conference championship, one
invile, one regional championship, one state competition.

There really is no off season for Mathletes, “We have the regular season during first semester,
but over the years we have been coaching we have added an invitational, regional, and state
competition, is during the second semester,” said coach Jim Jett.

So how do Jett and Kall find these talented Mathletes? “We try to recruit at the freshman
activity fair, and in our classes,” said Jett, “Other than that it is word of mouth of what a good
experience it is.”

Kall began coaching Mathletes  in 2003.

“When I asked Mr.Jett to come work with me coaching the club we decided to make the idea of
being on the Mathletes team one that appealed to students,” said Kall. “We wanted to
take away the misconception that being on Mathletes was socially unacceptable and we tried to
make it fun. When we first began the club we had about 20 students involved we are currently
averaging 65.”

Jett started coaching in 2005 and was glad to apart of it.

“I began coaching in 2005 as there was a need for a coach,” Jett stated. “It has not made my passion stronger but has made me stay up with a variety of topics I would not normally cover in class which is very enjoyable for me.