Catch any of the tournament over the weekend? It was downright inspiring to see the passion and skills displayed on the coliseum’s basketball floor.
With teams looking to advance to the next round, the action was intense. For the seniors, this is the last time they get to compete for their school.
Of course, the skills we saw don’t just happen. Well before they hit the coliseum floor Saturday, team members had spent hours with their coach, plotting strategy, dissecting diagrams on dry-erase boards, and studying video to fine-tune the game plan.
We loved one photo of fans leaning over the bleacher railing for a closer look at the wizardry taking place below. Some fans were young, maybe hoping they, too, would be competing on that court one day. After all, those at the top of their games can get a college scholarship, not to mention a high-paying professional career.
Chemistry is important, but most of the teams we saw compete last weekend focused on movement. Teams with a solid game plan and enough practice made their work on the court look effortless. They know, however, that proper execution is required at every single step. In tournaments like this, there’s little room for error. One miscue can bring momentum to a standstill. That’s why coaches break down every motion and run drill after drill.
And let’s face it -- regardless of the quality of the coach and how many stars are on the team, the formula developed at the start of the season for engineering a win has to work just right in March.
The teams that reach that “one shining moment” likely walked onto the coliseum floor with complete confidence in their plan. From the opening tip, it’s as if gravity takes over and propels them to the finish they’ve worked so hard for.
In its early days, the tournament was much smaller; it’s been exciting to see more teams compete. You never know when the smallest school is going to become the Cinderella story.
Yes, it was quite a weekend. We applaud all the teams. Even if their contraption wouldn’t fly, roller coaster derailed, parachute didn’t open or electric circuit burned out, all the teams are winners in our book.
So we offer hardy congratulations to ... the 1,200 high school and middle school students and 150 volunteers who gathered Saturday at UNCW’s Trask Coliseum for the Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad.
You did us all proud.