Scholastic Scrimmage teams compete on television
When the Northwestern Lehigh Scholastic Scrimmage team competed at PBS on Channel 39, it was an unforgettable experience.
“We did pretty well this year, better than last year,” said senior Trevor Spaide, who appeared on the show along Patrick Maurer, Mason Sechler and Adriana Walp.
The team naturally felt some pressure.
“It was nerve-racking to be on TV, so I just tried to pretend that I wasn’t,” Spaide said.
“The team made it to round two,” adviser Beth Johnson said.
Northwestern faced Allentown Central Catholic.
“The JV [team] took second, the first time out of the gate at Southern Lehigh,” Johnson said.
“I would attribute that to their middle school training with Sixth Sense and ACE, especially to Justin Arifaj and Rich Kulp, who prepped these kids so nicely.”
Practice is essential and the Scholastic Scrimmage team meets once a week.
“[The team] practices with buzzers and pamphlets that are divided by topic from which the questions are drawn,” Johnson explained. “The books are just a springboard or a starting point.”
Students see the value in practicing.
“The only way to prepare is to go through packets of questions and try to retain information on a day-to-day basis,” said Calvin Niewind, varsity team member. “There are math problems as well as some on history.”
“It’s more a general smattering of information, but they also ask about current events,” Johnson added.
Responding quickly is crucial to competing in Scholastic Scrimmage.
“It’s easier watching ‘Jeopardy’ than actually competing,” Johnson said. “You have to click a button before someone else. You have to answer faster than everyone else.”
The competition offers several benefits.
“It sharpens their academic skills, and makes them realize how important to be well rounded,” Johnson said. “They get to work collaboratively and value each other’s contributions.”
Why subject oneself to the rigors of Scholastic Scrimmage?
“My friend Mason threw the idea at me and I thought it would be fun to see how much I know,” Niewind said. “It’s fun to go places and talk with different people from other schools.
“You also learn things during the competition.”
“You get to meet a lot of new people and learn new things,” he said.
Spaide, who has been on the team for two years, is a “Jeopardy” fan.
“It felt comfortable,” Spaide noted.
“[Trevor] usually has the highest score,” said Johnson. “He’s quick on the draw and very well rounded. Most kids have their forte. But he can do it all.”
With their television performance behind them, the team is looking forward.
“We have two more [competitions], one at Salisbury and one at Phillipsburg,” said Johnson. “Scholastic Scrimmage is very excited to be able to compete and sharpen their skills.”