Latin classes excel
By Mary Tyler March
For the Salisbury Post
On April 8, a group of 65 ambitious West Rowan High School students ventured to Wake Forest University in hopes of winning their 15th consecutive North Carolina Junior Classical League title.
After months of preparing classically themed projects, such as drawings, sculptures, paintings and textiles, original writings, including poems and myths, and other Latin-based products, it was time for the competition to begin.
A bus ride later, we arrived at the Wake Forest campus, somewhat tired, but nevertheless excited about the impending two days. After briefly touring the campus, the competition officially began with the group of around 800 North Carolina Latin students parading around the quad.
The procession was then led into Wait Chapel, where the General Assembly would begin. At the assembly, we emphatically proclaimed our Falcon pride for Mt. Ulla and its JCL program by participating in various chants, choruses of U-L-L-A, and dances led by our sponsor, Steve Daniel.
After the sprit competition ended, our NCJCL officers welcomed us and led us in the recitation of the JCL creed, song and academic and Olympika oaths. At the end of the General Assembly, our club proceeded to our designated competitions.
From 7:45 to around 10 Friday night, our members participated in events such as the play, essay, costume and impromptu art contests, each complete with togas, gladiator sandals, swords and other Latin supplies. After the competitions ended, we boarded the bus to the hotel, ready to eat, sleep and prepare for the next day.
Our six dedicated Latin quiz bowl teams awoke early Saturday and went back to the campus, preparing to take the tests that would determine their places in the quiz bowl bracket. After the quiz bowl tests, the rest of our club reassembled to take the five academic tests: Pentathlon, Mythology, Greco-Roman History and Culture, Grammar and Derivatives. After an hour of test taking, our club dispersed again, journeying to their next competitions.
For the remainder of the convention, some students participated in contests such as sight-reading and dramatic interpretation (reciting a memorized Latin passage), while others attempted the oratory competition (memorizing and reciting a three-minute speech written about a classical prompt).
In addition to the academic contests, the NCJCL hosted a modern rendition of the classical Olympika. Eager Latin students swarmed to the cold, wet Water Tower field to watch and participate in events such as the chariot race, foot races and catapult contests.
As the competition came to a close, one of the last events commenced.
Nine Latin Certamen (quiz bowl) teams from novice, intermediate and advanced Latin levels gathered to compete against statewide teams. Each of the teams attempted to answer various questions pertaining to Greco-Roman history, mythology and literature, as well as the Latin language itself, in hopes of advancing to the Certamen semi-finals.
Other students who did not participate went to the Benson building, observing other Latin students’ projects and picking up their own.
After all of the events had concluded, the closing assembly was called to order in Wait Chapel. The remaining Latin students, cold and damp, mustered up the last of their energy for the final spirit competition. After spirit and a few brief announcements, awards went to individual and school club winners.
West Rowan students sat on the edge of their seats, anxious to learn if they would be returning home victorious. Moments later, the announcement was made: West Rowan would indeed accumulate their 15th trophy. After singing the JCL song one last time, the group was dismissed and encouraged to prepare for next year’s convention.
After two long days of competition and entertainment, ecstatic and worn out West Rowan JCL students boarded the bus back to Mt. Ulla, most as winners, some as moral supporters, and all with the great experience of reincarnating the ancient Roman Empire.
More than 800 North Carolina students gathered from across the state to contend in the 60th NCJCL Latin convention on April 8-9 at Wake Forest University.
West Rowan won the Minerva award for placing on the most academic tests (55), the Calliope award for the most creative art projects, received fourth place for their Latin play, and placed first in the state for overall points earned in the various competitions.
Highlighting the convention were the West Rowan Latin I and II quiz bowl teams, placing third, fourth and fifth in the state. Latin II student Kaylyn Pogson placed first in the state in the Greco-Roman History and Mythology tests. The Latin I Quiz Bowl team of Rhett Hellard, Chullin Pardee, Sami Rayl and Noah “Asian” Siharath placed third in the state while the other Latin I team of Dana Blackburn, Catherine Euchner, Alex Myers, and Kristy Rounds placed fifth.
The Latin II team of Josh Buinicky, Joe McNeely, Pogson and Nick Waldo placed fourth in the Quiz Bowl competition.
West Rowan High School’s individual winners were Silvana Abad, Kaitlyn Allen, Josh Bailey, Brandon Basinger, Blackburn, C.J. Blackwell, Joel Britain, Buinicky, Kelsey Childers, Bethany Church, Molly Cogburn, Aaron Crater, Maggie Daniel, Euchner, Moshika Finger, Hayden Gurley, Hellard, Chris Holmes, Andrew Langford, Leigh Beth Lytle, Mary Tyler March, Chloe McNeely, Joe McNeely, Myers, Tucker Myers, Royale Nichols, Mary Overcash, Pardee, D.J. Petrea, Kennedy Piatt, Sammi Phifer, Quinton Phifer, Sunny Phillips, Kendall Poe, Pogson, Emily Rayl, Sami Rayl, Taylor Riley, Kevin Robinson, Rounds, Emily Satterwhite, Kaytlynn Saunders, Stephanie Sigmon, Siharath, Colin Townsend, Waldo and Abbie Wilson.
Notable academic performances include Aaron Crater, who placed first in the Pentathlon test, second in the Mythology and History tests, fourth in the Derivatives test and second in the Essay contest; Pogson, who placed first in the state in the Pentathlon and History tests, as well as in Latin Sight Reading and the Mythology test, second in the Essay contest, Modern Myth, and Dramatic Interpretation (Advanced Poetry), third in Dramatic Interpretation and fourth in Intermediate Certamen and Poetry (10);
Sami Rayl who placed first in the Pentathlon test, third in the History test and Novice Certamen, and fifth in the Essay contest and Derivatives test; Moshika Finger, who placed fifth in the Pentathlon and History tests; Royale Nichols, who placed second in Dramatic Interpretation; C.J. Blackwell, who placed first in the History test and fourth in the Pentathlon test; Sunny Phillips, who placed fourth in the Pentathlon, History and Mythology tests;
Nick Waldo, who placed third in the History test and Modern Myth, fourth Intermediate Certamen and fifth in Creative Writing; D.J. Petrea, who placed first in the History and Pentathlon tests and third in the Mythology test; Sammi Phifer, who placed second in the History test, third in the Mythology test, and fourth in the Pentathlon test; Chullin Pardee who placed third in the History test and Novice Certamen, fourth in the Essay contest, and fifth in the Pentathlon test and poetry competition;
Kevin Robinson who placed second in the Mythology and History tests and slogan, and third in the Pentathlon test; Emily Satterwhite who placed fourth in the Pentathlon test and fifth in the History test; and Mary Tyler March who placed first in the slogan contest, fourth in the History and Mythology tests and essay contest, and fifth in the Modern Myth, Poem, and Oratory contests.