The Comeback player of the year
This was the toughest one. This was the one where disappointment could have prevailed.
The kids could have lost interest, the coaches could have had other things to do. A few less practices, a few more Saturdays at home. And nobody would have blamed them - 3rd place is good, especially in a competition where the playing field is level, not determined by school size, or SAT score, or wealth.
Finishing 3rd again in the South Carolina High School Science Olympiad would have been OK.
Clinton High School, instead, said "no" to OK. The Red Devil scientists today took back the championship they lost by 5 points last year (placing 3rd just three points behind Irmo) to the Academic Magnet School of Charleston. In Saturday's competition at Newberry College, the 2016 placement was Clinton 1st, Academic Magnet 2nd, the up-and-coming Spring Hill High School (and sportsmanship winner) 3rd, and Irmo High School 4th.
In several events, a Clinton team (A or B) was first and an Academic Magnet team was second. Academic Magnet was 1st and 3rd in Invasive Species, Clinton was 2nd. Clinton was 1st and 2nd in The Wright Stuff (think, flight, the Wright Brothers) - Academic Magnet was 3rd. Academic Magnet went 1st and 2nd in Chemistry Lab.
Clinton placed 1st in five of the last six events when the winners were announced (Academic Magnet won the other event), and that seemed to seal the win for the Red Devils. Full results will be posted on the SC Science Olympiad website tomorrow.
With the state win, Clinton High will join with Clinton Middle School traveling in May to represent the state at the National Science Olympiad at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Clinton Middle (carrying on the tradition of now-closed Bell Street Middle School) is the 14 consecutive SC Middle School Science Olympiad champion. PMPA is given Team Clinton $500 toward its trip - team members and coaches immediately will start raising the rest of the money, expected to be in the thousands of dollars.
"We worked hard today. For some of you this is the end of months and months of work," District 56 Superintendent and Team Clinton coach Dr. David O'Shields told the team, before the results were announced. "We are very grateful for what you have done. So many in our community live and die by what you (Clinton High School) do. We heard what other people were saying, 'They take it too seriously.' 'They practice from July to July.' 'They don't even know how to pronounce their name -- C-L-I-N-O-N.'
"I'm sort of glad we take it seriously. If academics is something we take seriously, I'm cool with that."
The order of finish for the 2016 SC High School Science Olympiad Top 10 is: 1. Clinton, 2. Academic Magnet, 3. Spring Hill, 4. Irmo, 5, McCracken, 6. Chapin, 7. Dutch Fork, 8. Dorman, 9. Ben Lippen School, 10. Carolina.