Column: We welcome squeaky wheels

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on March 18

Too often, we can forget to focus on those high school students who participate in activities that don’t fall under the “sports” category.

High school colorguard team members are some of those who can slip into the cracks. An example of this is the St. Charles East High School colorguard team, which came home with a first-place trophy after an astounding eight consecutive Illinois Drill Team Association state tournaments.

Essentially, they are the Boston Celtics of the 1960s. Minus Bill Russell and John Havlicek.

But they don’t get nearly the fanfare of the football, basketball or volleyball teams of the school.

Certainly, I know that part of this is because of attendance, ticket sales and general public interest.

And don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against sports. I started my journalism career as a prep sports reporter, and I loved every minute of it.

But it’s also wrong to say the Scholastic Bowl kids, drama kids and debate kids don’t put in just as much practice as those athletes.

When I was in high school, I participated in Academic Super Bowl, Indiana’s equivalent of Scholastic Bowl with the exception that it brought in a few fathers who unfortunately thought they were going to watch their sons or daughters play football while reading a book.

It took a lot of hours of reading and more reading and even more reading to do well at Academic Super Bowl.

One year, I had to read four volumes of Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization,” a book so massive it took them more than 50 years to write it. Believe me, I greatly would have preferred laps. Greatly.

It’s hard work, and the students who participate in these activities – whether is is Scholastic Bowl, orchestra or debate – certainly deserve recognition.

In today’s paper, we have a story on the St. Charles East High School colorguard team. The 16 students who made up the varsity team put in many hours getting to where they’re at now, and I was happy to write their story after a parent contacted me.

If that parent hadn’t initially contacted me, I might not have found out about this.

The old adage is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well, here at the Chronicle, we welcome squeaky wheels.

So, please, squeak away about those who you believe deserve recognition. Chances are we very well might agree with you.

Editor’s guide

A sweet taste: Please be sure to check out our new Taste section. We’re thrilled we could put a more local spin on your food content with local restaurant reviews, advice from local chefs, reader recipes and food events for you to attend.

I had trouble filling out the crossword, too: Overall, I think most of our changes went smoothly in yesterday’s paper, but the size of the crossword and comics needed to be improved. And we began that process today by enlarging the crossword puzzle, which makes me as happy as I’m sure it makes many of you.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5368.


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