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.

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