Struck by Covid - But Still Champs

2 State Champion Red Devil Teams are honored - photo gallery.



On the day when COVID-19 vaccines rolled out across America, School District 56 honored two teams whose seasons were cut short by the deadly virus. The Clinton High School Robotics Team and Academic Bowl Team last spring won South Carolina Championships, qualifying them for National and International Championship competitions.

These events, like the Science Olympiad in which Clinton Middle School is the reigning SC Champion, fell victim to the COVID-19 cancellations in a virus-spread-prevention attempt. In fact, the CHS Robotics Team won its title and the next day, school was cancelled for the rest of Spring 2020. Classes did not resume until September; however, with January 2021 approaching and the virus’ US death toll at more than 300,000, there is no definite word that Academic Bowl, Robotics, and Science Olympiad in Spring 2021 will be staged as in-person events.

Still, “we will always recognize success, athletic or academic,” District 56 Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields said.

With that in mind, district administrator Cindy Jacobs used her connections with Josten’s to have a State Champion Ring designed and delivered for the two Clinton High School teams. Some members were unable to attend Monday evening’s presentation ceremony, because of COVID-19 quarantining or other reasons. Those who did attend heard their coaches praise their tireless work and resilience – they heard that Clinton is often “taken lightly” by other competitors only to out-work the other, larger schools’ teams.

Robotics Team Sponsor John Michael Hammond said when Clinton partnered with Southside High School and then won the State Title, team members from much larger schools wondered out loud, “Who are they?”

Academic Bowl team member, and CHS graduate, Patrick Nelson publicly thanked team coach Terri O’Shields for her tireless work in pushing the team to get ready for competitions. Nelson had 7 years of experience on Academic Bowl and Science Olympiad Teams before he graduated high school in District 56.

Receiving rings were:


ROBOTICS --- team is called Red Devil Robotics, and the robot is called Thunder McSteve.

Sean Bell

Kate Wages

Shane Nelson

Grin Darden

Gracie Wiggins

Alan Hernandez

Coach John David Hammond.



Joey Ardelt

Jack Brent

Grin Darden

Mason Gibbs

Aubrie Hartley

Leah Meana

Patrick Nelson

Shane Nelson

Cooper Scaccia

Chase Tollison

Maren Vondergeest

Asheton Wilbanks; 

Principal Dr. Martha Brothers, Head Coach Terri O’Shields, Assistant Coach Kevin Cox, Chief Statistician Hugh Pace.


-- Photos by Vic MacDonald

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