Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Speech Seniors Score with Strong Start

October 24th, 2009

The Bronx Prep Speech team attended its first NYCFL league tournament over the weekend and saw big success from the veterans, while the rest of the squad helped flesh out a team that was represented in nearly every main event offered for competition.

In a stark contrast to last season, in which zero seniors competed for the Bronx Prep team all year, on Saturday five seniors were entered in the tournament, which was held at Regis and Loyola High Schools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Keegon Robinson (Varsity OI), Chris Moncrief (Original Oratory), Deborah Allen-Carr and Tayshawn Layton (Duo Interpretation) and Ingrid Villafrance all represented the class of 2010, with Mr. Moncrief and the team of Layton/Allen-Carr reaching the final round. The ladies finished tied with the second-best point total on the day, but tiebreakers put them in 5th place, while Chris finished in 2nd place - good enough to earn him a half-qualification for the State Championship tournament in April. Team Captain Keegon Robinson posted a first place finish in his third round and first-time competitor Ingrid may have been bitten by the speech bug - rumors abound that she may compete in Student Congress at an upcoming tournament.

Rounding out the team were Alethea Brown, making her 09-10 debut and showing strong potential playing four Crown Heights residents in the category of Dramatic Performance and rookie sensation Norberto Troncoso who competed in Extemporaneous Speaking - researching, memorizing and performing three seven-minute speeches, each in only a half hour!

With competitors in five different events, this is the most diverse Bronx Prep team to compete locally in several years - a good sign for a team looking to expand its presence and its numbers on the local scene.

Special thanks to Mr. Dude - Matthew Simon - for once again proving his dedication to the team by judging three rounds and to Ms. Halie Berson and Mr. John Aronson, the team's other judge and observer judge, respectively. This pair even showed up with bagels which the team reported were, "really good".

One more league tournament on November 14th, before the showdown in Philly that is the Villiger Tournament the following weekend. Also on the horizon is the Patriot Games Classic - the perenially expanding one-of-a-kind tournament at George Mason University.

Stay tuned for a report on the JV squad's intra-team competition, to be held at the school on October 28th.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And They're Off

October 4th, 2009

The Bronx Prep Speech team kicked off the 09-10 campaign last weekend at the invitational tournament hosted by Yale University. What can be learned from a tournament so early in the year? Practice, practice, practice.

The team worked hard in the days and hours leading up to the first round, but saw strong competition from powerhouse schools from all over the country. Bronx Prep's scrappy squad managed to get it all together before the tournament, but they were up against students with polished performances - the result of months of hard work at Speech Institutes and on their own over the summer. Although the team was represented on Sunday in the form of Chris Moncrief's Oral Interpretation, the overall experience must be measured as just that - experience for several large and small tournaments to come.

An early tournament is a wild card and this year's Yale Invitational was no exception. Students were able to compete in several events at once - forcing competitors to leave one round early to trek across campus to get to another round in a different event. The campus must have looked pretty bizarre to passersby as teenagers in formal business attire criss-crossed the quadrangles of the Ivy League school. Members of the Bronx Prep team competed in one event each at Yale. The team was made up of Keegon Robinson, Chris Moncrief, Autumnwind Spear, Tayshawn Layton, and rookie sensation Norberto Tronscosco. Each competed in OI (Prose/Poetry) except Ms. Layton who performed as four different Iraqi women, competing in Dramatic Interpretation. Each student gained the valuable experience that comes with competing at a national-level tournament against quality competition for experienced judges. Senior Chris Moncrief's Quarterfinal finish is a testament to the Manager's talent and familiarity in such high-level tournaments.

The team gives mad props and a huge thank you to Mr. So for coaching, chaperoning, and joining the Bronx Prep Speech team.

What comes next? The local tournaments of the NYCFL. On October 24th and November 7th, the team will clash with students in the local New York City league at Regis High School and Fordham Prep, respectively, to see who will establish themselves as the speaker or team to beat this year. Will we see some hardware starting to fill up the BP Library? If the Yale Invitational is any indication, it will all come down to practice.