Tag Archives: regional competition

OHS Latin Program Hosts Regionals

By Amelia Chen

All students enrolled in Middle and Upper School Latin courses at Oak Hall School are participating in the Latin Regionals tournament hosted on campus Saturday, Jan. 28. 

All Latin students compete at regionals in the hopes to be chosen for the state tournament. This year, about 86 students from Oak Hall School will be competing. In total, there are usually around 150 students competing from all the schools in the tournament. This year those schools include Oak Hall, St. Francis, Cornerstone, and Forest High School.

“I’m excited for all of the new students who haven’t been to regionals to experience it and for some of the veterans to be able to kind of show the ropes to the new generation of Latin students,” said Zachary Mair, one of Oak Hall’s Latin teachers.

Students participate in academic testing, Certamen (a Jeopardy-style competition), racing events ala Olympics-style, wear costumes, and participate in art. Minus the testing and Certamen, OHS Latin Club officers organized the regional competition. 

Oak Hall’s Latin Program, the Junior Classical League (JCL), has been competing at regionals for decades and is considered one of the biggest classics programs in the region and quite possibly the state. 

Oak Hall regularly has success in the regionals, as Oak Hall is designed to prepare students on a national level. Mair also noted his hope for the turnout of the competition.

“I hope [this is] a starting line for looking toward states… I’m hoping that students [really] put in that effort and get the award that they deserve for the input that they gave,” he said.

Competitive Cheer Team Heading to State Championship

By Madison Gaston

Oak Hall’s competitive cheerleading team works countless hours each week practicing for this year’s competition season, which paid off at yesterday’s regional meet. The team placed third, thus solidifying a spot at the state championship on Feb. 1 at the O’Connell Center at the University of Florida.

Unlike the winter season of cheer, the athletes on the competitive team must perform a challenging routine in front of judges to show their athleticism and skill. During the regional and state meets, the competition team must outshine the other large all-girl non-tumbling teams in order to claim victory. Each 2.5 minute routine is divided into different skills throughout: cheer, elite stunts, jumps, pyramid, and dance. “It has taken two months and we are still making changes while increasing difficulty as our skills progress,” said cheer captain Mason Johnson.

Senior captain Mason Johnson shines her bright smile for the judges during a competition against Vanguard High School

The competitive cheerleading team consists of 22 varsity cheerleaders ranging from sixth graders to seniors. This second-year team is lead by head coach Kelley Thorp, Kaitlyn Hill as assistant coach, and Kathryn Wishart as student-coach. The girls practice four days a week from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. to master the stunts and dance incorporated in each routine. The team consists of four stunt groups, each having one flyer, two bases, and one back spot. Typically, the girls start each practice by warming up and stretching, then running through counts, working on cheer, stunting, jumping, and ending with pyramid and dance. “Competitive cheer is very different than winter cheer because it requires more skill and athleticism,” noted senior Mary Madelyn Broom. “I also appreciate that it is a sport where we get to showcase our talent and skills to an audience versus just spiriting for other sports’ games,” she continued.

The OHS competitive cheer squad shows spirit during a competition versus Vanguard High School

In addition, the competitive cheer team go to cheerleading camp in the summer. This past summer, Oak Hall competitive cheerleading team members Elizabeth Olcese, Mason Johnson, Veronika Schmalfuss, and Kathryn Wishart were selected as UCA All-American Cheerleaders, giving the girls the opportunity to perform in the 2020 London New Year’s Day Parade.