Saint Ignatius High School

A Season Cut Short

They should be on their way to the Science Olympiad State Tournament, but instead, these two seniors recall memories of their past four years as a team and they look with hope to the future.

Jason Zhang '20

The Science Olympiad State Tournament has been cancelled due to Covid-19. This means that we will not have the opportunity to face other top schools in Ohio and find out where we stand among the competition. It also means that someone will need to go into the second floor room of the Clavius Science Center and turn off the States Countdown Timer when it goes off on April 25th.

The cancellation of states served as an abrupt end to the Science Olympiad season for all our members and more specifically an abrupt end to our Science Olympiad journey as seniors. Although disappointing, all of us are happy that our hard work and dedication did not completely go to waste.

The Saint Ignatius Science Olympiad team ended the season on a strong note, finishing first place by fifty points at Regionals performing well in all of our invitationals. In addition, we had a lot of fresh (perhaps some frosh) talent join the team this year, giving us hope that we may do even better in years to come. 

The best part about being on this team is that everyone here feels like they belong to one massive family. Therefore, we remain in contact with each other online, often messaging one another late into the night. Additionally, our moderators hosted a Zoom meeting where everyone simply chatted about life during these strange times. Although seniors will not be able to compete again, some of us look forward to coming back next year as alumni who can educate and train our next generation of Science Olympiad Wildcats. We as a team continue to look forward to the future and we continue to stay strong

Danny Mullen '20

After earning our first regional championship in years, we were ready for a successful finish at states. We were hoping that the grind between regionals and states would earn us a top-5 trophy. We heard about the State Tournament being cancelled a few days before schools moved to distance learning. It was a somber mood in our team rooms for the next few days, but we still had time together to look forward to. Outside of preparing for events, we always have some side projects going on like setting up homemade "surround sound" systems, or re-vamping the rooms where we hang out. 
Unfortunately, for our team it means that our season was cut short, and also that we are at a disadvantage for next year. Usually, after this states week, there will be a month or so where we work on preparing for next year by organizing the rooms and planning events with next year's captain. I'm hoping that we can have a team get together at school over the summer so that we can help the team to be better prepared for a full successful season next year. 
We've stayed connected as a team through some online chats and video games. We had a Zoom party a few weeks ago with the coaches and some alumni. It's been great to keep in touch with everyone, especially some of our friends who have already graduated. One of the best things about this team is the relationships between classes. Some of my closest friends have gone off to college, but it is always nice to get the whole "team" together. 
I feel lucky as a senior this year. I feel for the spring athletes who missed out on their whole senior season. Of course I am disappointed that we couldn't finish the year strong. It's hard looking back on the celebration of the regional tournament knowing that it was the end to our Science Olympiad careers. But we are lucky to be part of a team that spans the whole year. I still had most of the year to prepare for events and eat lunch with friends. We still had most of our season and I'm grateful to have had that experience. I've had incredible support from guys like Jason Zhang who has helped to get our team "out there" this year, and we've grown as a result. Brady Gibbs is one of the most dedicated team members we've had as he picked up extra events and extra work whenever needed. Robert Pafford is a physics genius and definitely holds some record for gold medals.

I want to wish Nick "Rangoni" Ragone '21 and next year's team the best of luck. Our freshman class is promising and Nick will be a strong leader for them and the rest of the team. Current seniors and current alumni will always be available for help when needed.
Mr. Bogen, Mr. Savastano, Mr. McGinness '02, and Mr. Chaffee have given more time and effort for this team than we will ever know. Their dedication to the team is inspiring and they have helped me to find a love for science and engineering. They have led by example and their help will never be forgotten. Our coaches will never get enough credit for the work they do, and they deserve so much. They have shaped my Ignatius experience and those of so many other Science Olympiad members. I want to give them a huge "Thank you" for all of the fun memories over the last few years.

I hope to be back in Room 308 and the Annex some time soon.