Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bronx Prep's Stars Fall on Alabama

June 20, 2009

To close out the season, top members of the Bronx Prep speech team headed out to Birmingham, Alabama to match up against the best of the best at the National Championships of the National Forensics League.

The competition was as fierce as expected, although half of the team's results were somewhat surprising.

Tiffany McLarty and Tayshawn Layton, BP's top Duo team, came into the tournament in top form, wowing coaches and competitors alike and drawing praise and acclaim from most everyone that saw them compete... everyone, that is, except several judges, whose less-than-stellar ranks kept the ladies out of the elimination rounds. With a national reputation, a crowd-pleasing introduction, and a fresh take on a familiar story, this team seemed to have all the ingredients to go deep into the tournament. But it's the rankings that matter and these results were as surprising as they were frustrating.

Meanwhile, Chris Moncrief, competing in Original Oratory, went for broke and overhauled his entire speech before the tournament. Despite what many, including this blogger, have called a "dream season", Chris gutted the speech that brought him so much hardware this year, seeking a new way to express himself cleary and genuinely in his speech on scars and healing. The gamble paid off in a big way as Chris competed through to the National Semifinals, missing the National Final Round by a single point. He finished 8th place in the United States. An incredible achievement to cap an incredible season.

The best news? All three of Bronx Prep's National Qualifiers have at least one more year of competition to go. With the experience of competing at this level under their belts, the sky is the limit for what they and their teammates can achieve in 09-10. After watching final rounds on the last day, the goal for the next season was clear: a Bronx Prep student on the stage, competing in Finals for a National Championship. Can the team reach the pinnacle of High School Forensics next year? Keep it tuned here to find out.

Until then, congratulations to the entire team for an extraordinary season. The groundwork is layed and the work begins now for a new season that will truly be something big.