JCL conquers opposition at state convention


Photo courtesy of Taekyoo Won

JCL members capture Woodbridge spirit after playing a game of capture the flag at state convention.

Spanning the weekend of April 22- April 23, Woodbridge’s Junior Classical League (JCL) competed against other California JCL programs in the annual State Convention, bringing home the first place overall award. This year, the convention was located at St. Ignatius Preparatory high school in San Francisco consisting of competitions in athletic, academics, and visual art sections.

With high hopes of success at the yearly gathering, JCL members took the bus up north to attend the convention.

“The bus ride was super fun. We watched movies and sang along to Disney songs so it was a great bonding experience,” sophomore Ayden Madsen said.

Upon arrival, an opening ceremony commenced the festivities of the convention. Archaic classical games such as fugepilam and quidditch merged with academic tests and competitions to bring back and honor the classical ambience.

My favorite part of Convention was when our chapter played Capture the Flag together. We actually played with University High’s JCL and some middle school JCLs, and then we played against each other,” senior JCL president Alyssa Cadavona said.

Amidst the numerous activities, Woodbridge began to earn dozens of awards in various categories against the mass number of other schools competing at the convention.

It was surprising that [Woodbridge’s] chapter swept the competition,[seniors] Sarah Barrios claiming first place and Derek Chang taking third place. Ms. Stuart asked us all to submit entries for us to have a chance to win awards [and I am] glad we listened to her,” original poetry award winner Cadavona said.

Both individually and collectively, Woodbridge’s JCL program won over 30 awards. In a multitude of categories such as dramatic interpretations, modern myth, and certamen, Woodbridge students earned first place medals.

“I was expecting to do pretty well in grammar, and I thought I had a chance of getting first place for it, but I didn’t ever think I would get first place overall,” freshman special academic award winner Andrew Huang said.

As a whole, 20 students were awarded for their superior Latin skills and the Woodbridge JCL claimed the first place title in the entirety of California for the medium-sized division consisting of 20-50 students competing.

Finding out that we had gotten first overall in our category was a moment of shock. I don’t know if anyone was expecting it, so we were all just sitting and cheering for the others that won,” junior Taekyoo Won said.

“[When we won state I felt] ecstatic and elated and proud,” JCL advisor and Latin teacher Eleanor Stuart said.

Despite Woodbridge lowering to the second largest division this year, the win marked the first state convention win in Woodbridge history. JCL will be hosting a banquet at Rancho Senior Center on May 20 to celebrate the accomplishments they have achieved this year.