A Weekend in Ancient Rome: Knights of the Tiber Victory at Convention


Sam Tollet `16

Nick Taylor `16

Jonathan Unger `14

On March 7, a legion of 34 St. Edward Knights of the Tiber set up camp at a Ramada Inn just outside Columbus for the 64th annual Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL) Latin Convention. Armed with their knowledge of the Classics, these Latin scholars embarked on their weekend-long adventure to Latin, fun, and victory.

Toga dinner1

“Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.”  This line from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” meaning “Everything Changes, Nothing Perishes” was this year’s OJCL convention theme, and truly summarizes how the St. Edward’s very own Knights of the Tiber competed as their unending stamina throughout the weekend led them to victory in academic contests. Overall, the Knights earned 5th place for St. Edward in Academic Sweepstakes, which ranks schools in terms of how many categories they participate in and how high students place in those categories. In terms of tests, Connor Tomshack ‘14 earned first place in Individual Academic Sweepstakes, first place out of approximately 1,500 Ohio delegates at convention. First place awards in individual subject tests were earned by Tomshack, Will Beatrez ‘15, and Jonathan Unger ‘14. All those who receive awards for their excellence at convention can be found below.

In terms of Certamen, a Latin quiz bowl tournament at convention, the St. Edward Level II team, after defeating the defending state champs in the semifinals, battled their way to Second place thanks to Patrick Fox ‘16, Soren Gran ‘16, Andrew Mudery ‘16, Nick Taylor ‘16, and Sam Tollett ‘16. The Advanced team, comprised of Tomshack, Beatrez, Unger, and Matt Martis ‘14, took 4th place after a narrow tie-breaker semifinal loss to Indian Hill. The Level I team was comprised of Chris Dombrowski ‘17, Connor Funk ‘17, Aidan Harrington ‘17, Charlie Neate ‘17, and Drew Poschner ‘17, and narrowly missed advancement into the semifinals.

Level II Certamen Finals

Beatrez launched an aggressive campaign for the position of Parliamentarian on the OJCL Executive Board. However, despite the incredible effort put forth by all the Knights and his supporters, he lost in a neck-and-neck election to his opponent by a narrow margin in the voting polls. Also, Tollett ran for 1st Vice President, but did not make it past nominations committee.

At the “OJCL’s Got Talent” show, a performance of “For the Longest Time” by The Acafellas, comprised of Connor Ling ‘16, Andy Schumann ‘15, Jon Poilpre ‘15, and Patrick Fox ‘16, along with a percussion performance by a group of Trash Talkers, comprised of Beatrez, Schumann, Fox, Ling, and Michael McLoughlin ‘15, shared SEHS talent with the Ohio delegation. The Trash Talkers stole the show, receiving the first overall place at the show.

Toga dinner

What is Latin Convention?

For those unfamiliar with the OJCL Latin Convention, envision packing as many high school Latin enthusiasts as possible into a hotel for a weekend to partake in vigorous competitions involving the Latin language and everything imaginable concerning the classical societies of Ancient Greece and Rome. Among the many opportunities for conventioneers to express their flare for the Classics,  academic contests in the form of written tests challenge their knowledge on a wide variety of Latin  and Greek subjects. Those passionate in bringing back to life the lines of ancient rhetoric can perform in oral contests ranging from sight reading to memorized and rehearsed dramatic interpretations. Latin enthusiasts with artistic talent can recreate a piece of ancient Rome in the form of art submissions such as models, sculptures, and drawings. However, the most exciting of these opportunities is the Latin quiz bowl game, Certamen. Latin for “competition,” this game tests the young scholars in their knowledge in the areas of grammar, mythology, literature, and history and in their ability to recall this knowledge with the speed of a mighty charioteer or ancient gladiator. Moreover, the OJCL has a student-run board, allowing young classicists to further contribute to the organization in leadership positions.

What epitomizes the OJCL is not the rigor of its academic tests, but its spirit; Latin convention cannot wholly be experienced without the spirit rallies at general assemblies where high schools from around the Buckeye State compete against one another in spirit, dressing in an array of costumes chanting in Latin and English. Not to mention, dinner can only be served to those dressed appropriately in togas. The rekindling the of language, along with eccentric spirit in the air of convention, provides the feeling of spending a weekend in ancient Rome.

Why go to Latin Convention?

Be it for the adrenaline rush of Certamen, the glory of academic contests, or the simple enjoyment of meeting people with like interests, Latin scholars from every corner of the Buckeye State convene for a weekend of fun, togas, and Latin.  Matt Martis ‘14, a veteran to conventions at both the state and national level, says he comes to Convention because “It’s a great place to demonstrate and share knowledge of the Latin language and mingle with awesome people.” Patrick Gaertner ‘15, attending his third state Convention, says “There’s something there for everyone. Latin Convention has knowledge aspects, creative aspects, and toga party aspects.”

A Special Thanks

The Knights of the Tiber would like to thank their teachers and leaders, Mr. Cavoli and Mr. Stemm, for all the hard work and time they put in so that convention remains an opportunity open to all Latin students at St. Edward. It is truly an experience unlike any other and has invigorated an appreciation and love of the classics in those who have attended.


6th through 10th place awards went to:

Collin Fijalkovich ‘15

Jon Poilpre ‘15

Ethan Fittro ‘16

Patrick Fox ‘16

Connor Ling ‘16

Andrew Mudery ‘16

Nick Taylor ‘16

Noah Waddell ‘16

Kevin Ward ‘16

Skylar Vizory ‘16

Aidan Harrington ‘17

4th and 5th place awards went to:

Greg Pataky ‘14

Matt Martis ‘14

Michael McLoughlin ‘15

Patrick Gaertner ‘15

Andrew Blonsky ‘17

Charlie Neate ‘17

2nd and 3rd place awards went to:

Maxwell Mehlman ‘15

Soren Gran ‘16

Chris Dombrosky ‘17

Drew Poschner ‘17