Monday, March 9, 2009


March 7, 2009

Battery Park City, New York - The Bronx Prep speech team came through with a dominant performance over the weekend as every single BP student competing on Saturday not only reached the final round, but finished in the top six and qualified for the CFL National tournament in May.

The results are, quite simply, remarkable. Chris Moncrief (Original Oratory) and Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton (Duo Interpretation) were nearly perfect as they marched through the tournament and finished in first place. Chris and Tiff and Tay were each judged by nine judges on the day and in both cases, eight of the nine judges ranked them first in their rounds.

Matthew Alston and Jamej Lawton provided a success story of their own. The team is not incredibly well-known on the circuit, as they have only competed three times this year, but they snuck through to finals and a fifth place finish, putting them in the company of the other Bronx Prep duo team as qualifiers for the CFL National Tournament, to be held in Albany, NY in May.
Bronx Prep was the only school at the tournament to qualify two duo teams for nationals.

Bronx Prep's fourth entry was Keegon Robinson, competing in Oral Interpretation (Prose/Poetry). OI had the most students competing on Saturday of any event, but Keegon still managed to narrowly reach the semi-final round, only to post a stellar performance, win the round, and come from behind to earn his ticket to nationals. His hard work this year is truly paying off in the form of an opportunity to compete at a national level.

The team finished 10th in the overall team sweepstakes - a strong showing considering they brought only four entries (compared to Stuyvesant's sixteen and Regis's eighteen).

As the speech "post-season" approaches, here's a re-cap of the Bronx Prep qualifiers:

Already qualified for the New York State Championships (Albany, April) are Chris Moncrief and Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton. Half-qualified are Keegon Robinson and Deborah Allen-Carr (OI). Jamej Lawton and Matt Alston have no half-quals for states as of yet, but, along with Deborah and Keegon, they will have the opportunity to join Chris, Tiff and Tay by qualifying in one of the next two weekends.

Qualified for the NFL National tournament (Montgomery, Alabama, June) are Chris, Tiffany and Tayshawn and this past weekend's qualifiers for the CFL National tournament (Albany, May) are: Chris, Tiffany, Tayshawn, Matt, Jamej and Keegon.

It was an historic success for the program; congratulations to all of you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


March 1, 2009

Syosset, NY - Last night, three Bronx Prep students earned their spots at this year's NFL National Championship tournament by outlasting the competition in a dramatic day of competition at Syosset High School in Long Island. Chris Moncrief, Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Lawton will all be representing the New York City NFL district in June at the National Championships in Mongomery, Alabama.

Competing in Original Oratory, Chris Moncrief's first place finish at this tournament was never really a surprise. Chris has finished ahead of all but two student orators in 2009, competing against hundreds of students at several tournaments on both sides of the country. He brought his usual poised, relaxed demeanor to the competition and walked away with a first place trophy and a coveted plaque indicating his second qualification for the NFL nationals in as many years.

Tiffany and Tayshawn, competing in Duo Interpretation, also came into the tournament as front-runners to qualify, but they're finish was hardly a foregone conclusion. They brought the house down with a smashing semi-final round performance of their creative, high-energy interpretation of the Disney classic, The Lion King. However, the final round was a very different enterprise. They worked through their piece with conviction, clarity and passion as a subdued audience seemed to find far more drama in the piece than comedy. Tiff and Tay finished in second place - good enough for their very own slot at nationals as the top three competitors in each event qualify for the national competition.

Also posting strong marks were Keegon Robinson and Jamej Lawton, competing in Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation, respectively. Although they were not able to reach the semi-final rounds, both young men capitalized on their recent hard work and earned praise from judges and competitors alike.

Next weekend brings the CFL National Qualifier and a second opportunity to qualify for a national forensics championship. In the CFL qualifier, the top six competitors in each event qualify, opening up the field and creating an opportunity for several more Bronx Prep students to qualify. The tournament is in the afternoon at Stuyvesant High School in Battery Park City. Come on down and support the team!

JV Squad Scores in Boston

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


JV Squad Scores in Boston


Watertown, MA - The Bronx Prep Middle School Speech Team showed some serious promise for the HS team's future, bringing home hardware from their own tournament at the Jewish Community Day School outside of Boston. The small team was made up of the duo team of Kadeem Penny and Edison Hines and a hard-working Emmanuel Cruz, double-entered in Prose and Poetry. After a day of competition, all the boys wound up with trophies as Emmanuel took second place in Poetry and Edison and Kadeem tore it up in the duo final round and came home as champions in their event.

The JV Squad's accomplishments over the weekend were the culmination of a great deal of hard work over the course of the week leading up to the competition. The Hines/Penny combination came together at just the right moment, posting strong ranks in the final round of the speech world's most popular event - Duo Interpretation. The round prompted the brash, young Kadeem Penny to predict a championship - minutes later his called shot came through. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Cruz missed his Prose final round, but rode three first place rankings in Poetry to within a hair of first place, settling for a stirring silver in Poetry Interpretation.

Overall, an accomplished and encouraging weekend from the young guns, who couldn't have asked for much more - save company, as a series of unfortunate events kept other competitors at home. Here's hoping a full-strength team follows suit with twice as many trophies next time.