By AJ Ortega
Twenty Jamesville-DeWitt High School ceramics students boarded a bus on May 9 bound for the Feats of Clay competition at Onondaga Community College. Out of the 23 teams, they tied for second with East Syracuse-Minoa High School. Feats of Clay is a ceramics competition against other local schools, including Christian Brothers Academy, West Genesee, and ES-M high schools. Teams competed against each other in several events such as mug throwing, coil building and a blindfolded event. Based on the event, an individual or team earned points based on where they placed and the team with the most points at the end of the competition wins.
Though Phoenix tied West Genesee for first overall, students were pleased with their finish, as it was better than last year’s competition, where they placed sixth overall. “I wish we came in first but I was very happy with how we did,” said senior Ramzy Abu-Ramadan. Sophomore Niki Jiang thought the team “worked well together” and that it “showed in how we did.”
This year was ceramics teacher Mark McIntyre’s first Feats of Clay competition. “I had a lot of fun. It was a great first year. I can’t wait for next year,” said Mr. McIntyre. He said the team did “exceptionally well” and that although they didn't win he was “extremely proud” of the team. Mr. McIntyre brought five seniors to the competition this year. “They were great. I will miss them dearly,” said Mr. McIntyre. Mr. McIntrye will start preparing his students in the fall for next year’s competition, which will hopefully lead them to a first place finish. Junior Jake Socia is also going to start preparing this fall so they can “take it all next year.”
This was the last Feats of Clay for seniors on the team. “I’m sad that we didn't win but it was still a great way to end my last Feats of Clay,” said senior Noura Osman. Her favorite competition was the blind fold toss because it was “different” and “fun to watch.” Abu-Ramadan will “miss competing a lot.” This was Abu- Ramadan’s first ever Feats of Clay after returning to the United States after moving to Jordan four years ago.
Ten J-DHS freshman attended the Feats of Clay competition for the first time this year. “I had so much fun. I can’t wait to go again next year,” said freshman Grace Martin, who competed in the mug throwing competition. Freshman Grace Thomas and Maddy Ferris enjoyed the competition because “it was a much needed break from school.” Thomas and Ferris competed in the coil building competition along with the rest of the J-DHS team.
Backed by Mr. McIntyre, the J-DHS ceramics team looks to hone their skills over the next year and will be prepared to take the gold next year.