Mathletes vs. Athletes


Christopher Henton, Staff Writer

Are you a mathlete, or are you an athlete? Do you even know what a mathlete is? I bet you didn’t even know Hillcrest has their very own mathletes team. A mathlete is a person who competes in mathematics competitions at any level or any age. Hillcrest has four different groups, which consist of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These four groups go against others of the same year bracket within the south suburban schools. They separate the schools based on what group you’re in, and then they place you all in one room spaced out from others in your group.

For the first two rounds, you’ll be answering questions individually. In the last round for mathletes, everyone in your group comes together to answer a series of questions. Three rounds are all you get for mathletes with twenty minutes to answer every question in each round. The first two rounds have only three questions each round. However, the third round can have about 20 questions that require to be answered.

Being a mathlete requires strategic planning and learning different applications of math. It’s not a hard skill set, and it can be very rewarding to you.

The Hillcrest Mathletes season for the year 2021-2022 has sadly ended for the year though. They started at the beginning of September organizing groups to go against other schools. After they had the groups organized they started preparing packets for each group. The packets that were given to the members of the mathletes all were different depending on what group you were in.

The coaches/supervisors for mathletes are well-known Hillcrest math teachers, which are Mr. Fantozzi, Mr. Peccia, and Ms. Bucci. These three are the heads of different groups, but they all work together. Each teacher is very nice and helpful and has different skill sets.

For example, if you need help understanding calculus problems Mr. Fantozzi is the man to go to. Mathletes have competition dates every other Wednesday, so it’s not a stress to join. It also has a very flexible schedule. Mathletes just recently had their conference meeting at the beginning of December at Thornton Fractional South High School. All the schools in the south suburbs showed up and they all competed for placements.

I want to note to potential members of mathletes if you’re good at math or not, you should try it out. Mathletes don’t require you to be a genius in math, you just can just study the material and you’ll be good.

If you consider yourself an athlete that’s fine, but explore different options and join clubs that seem different. Mathletes are one of the clubs that get little attention from the school but is very intriguing with interesting people. You’ll build connections with your math teachers, and learn new math applications that you may use in the future. Mathletes use the same exertion as any other sport instead of physical exertion it uses mental exertion but this can be very beneficial to the brain. Not all exertion is a bad thing. Your brain needs this anyway. It releases a beneficial protein in the brain and these proteins keep the neurons healthy and promote the growth of new neurons. Think about joining mathletes for the benefits it promises.

You’ll have fun and enjoy the club.