First Math Team Tailgate in Fenwick History


    A news article on the diversions page? You’d better believe it. Making Fenwick history, but not in any sort of fashion that could fall into the category of any other page in the Wick, calls for an exception to diversions protocol (Math Team still isn’t technically a sport. Sorry guys.). Friar nation proves to be the best student section in the nation– and it doesn’t stop at supporting only sport events. It now also includes academic competitions. Several weeks ago, in March, the math team competed at regionals for maybe the thousandth year in a row.
    We all know there’s no competition for the Fenwick Math Team, but a collection of senior boys thought that the team would need support from fellow Friars anyway. Some say it started off as a joke, but this idea eventually became Fenwick history.
    For the first time in the Fenwick State Math Team’s history, a full-blown tailgate went up in the Concordia University parking garage prior to the regional competition. Led by several senior boys that claim to be Mr. Finnell’s “groupies”, the tailgate was complete with bean bag toss, chips and guacamole, and dozens of cases of Arnold Palmer.
    Friar Nation has been exceptionally active this year at countless football, hockey, and basketball games, among other sports, and now includes academic championships in their long list of events to attend and prove to our opponents that Fenwick takes the cake on the field and in the classroom.
    I was lucky enough to interview two members of the Fenwick class of 2019 that were present at the event. Mark “Spaceman” Lasek is a proud member of the Fenwick math team and has been since freshman year. A dedicated member of Math Team, TEAMS team, team MATH, and MATH MATH, Lasek has basically sold his soul to the Fenwick academic teams. Nonetheless, he enjoys competing with his teammates and learning from the all-knowing oracle of knowledge, Mr. Finnell.
    Lasek noted the change in demeanor of the entire team, knowing they had a student section present during the competition. “Pretty neat,” he noted. It was something he and all of his teammates had never seen before.
    He also discussed how he viewed Fenwick a little differently after the event. Having fans present at any event is enough to fill a student athlete or mathlete with school spirit, but knowing that the Fenwick seniors are so supportive to the point that they would devote their time on a Saturday to this academic squad changed the team’s perspective of the school as a whole.
    “I felt proud representing my school at the numerical competition!” he exclaimed. He referred to the student section as “the boys” and explained how happy he was to be representing such a fine institution with so much support behind him. “Havin’ the boys behind us during awards was a big moral and hype boost.”
    I had to ask, “What was the best part?” There was so much at the event to be excited about, but there had to be one stand-out moment. Surprisingly, Lasek said that the best part WAS NOT completing the math test. Truly a shocker.
    “Best part was the tailgate itself,” he said. “Going to the parking garage and finding a bunch of dudes with a table of subs, games of bags set up, a speaker, and a football to toss around was pretty awesome.”
    Again, the camaraderie of fellow Friars shines through and proves to be a stand-out aspect of the Fenwick experience. It is what most of us remember about our time at Fenwick, and evidently, it gives us the best memories.
    I was also lucky enough to interview Danny “Six Cups of Water” Adams about what the experience was like being there to support the Math Team from the figurative sidelines. An active member of the Friar Nation fan section at basketball and football games, Adams never expected to show that same school spirit at a math team competition, admittedly.
    However, he confessed that it was one of his favorite experiences being a supporter of Fenwick extracurriculars. It was something new that nobody had experience with before, but Adams and the boys turned a far off idea, something that many people thought was a joke, into a reality.
    When asked who organized the whole ordeal, Adams explained, “Honestly, no clue.” Whoever did, thank you for doing this, or else this article would not exist. Back to the news.
    Adams explained that his favorite part was also partaking in the tailgate, but focused on the specific activities that took place whilst the team completed their test. “My favorite part was pounding Alpine subs and playing bags with the boys (or as the country folk call it corn hole).”
    Still unclear as to how the whole day was mapped out, I asked how this tailgate was conducted in order to gain insight into how this could be turned into a tradition for years to come… because obviously, the Fenwick Math Team will be competing at regionals every single year for the next six centuries.
    “We tailgated as the competition was going on,” Adams explained. “When our beloved mathletes finished, they came out and joined the fun.”
    The tailgate was not ENTIRELY fun and games, however. Confused as to how an academic competition could possibly have a student fan section, and bewildered as to how a group of teenage boys organized a tailgate for a math team, the Concordia Campus Security showed up to the Friar Nation tailgate.
    “The boys” sadly had to leave after a brief interaction with campus security, even though Concordia University approved of the tailgate.
    Nonetheless, Adams remarked that being present for the awards ceremony was unlike any conclusion to a basketball or football game that he had witnessed before.
    “The other schools basked in glory as our student section was bumping,” he said.

    “The other schools were RATTLED when non-mathlete TJ Pollard accepted the first place plaque for Friar Nation.”
    Victories for one are victories for all at Fenwick, clearly, and we all take pride in the accomplishments of all of our teams: academic and athletic. Congratulations again on your regional win, Math Team! We could not be prouder of our fellow Friars.