Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meet Me in St. Louis

February 27, 2010

The Bronx Prep Speech Team put it all on the line at this year's NFL national qualifier - the only tournament that provides speech competitors with the opportunity to compete in the biggest speech tournament of the year - the National Forensics League Championships, held over a week in June, this year in St. Louis, MO.

It was a day of joy and heartbreak at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY as the team experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

The District tournament qualifies the top three competitors in each category for the national championships and the day started strongly for many of the Bronx Prep competitors. The Duo teams of Deborah Allen-Carr and Tayshawn Layton and Keegon Robinson and Tiffany McLarty all reached the semifinal round of competition, while Chris Moncrief also cleared through to Semis, competing in Original Oratory.

By the time the Final rounds were posted, Deborah and Tayshawn were no longer in competition. This left Tiff, Keegon and Chris to compete for one of the coveted top three spots in their respective events.

After an extremely long hiatus, the drama of the awards presentation began. The first awards announced were for Duo Interpretation and they brought a heartbreaker - a fourth place finish for Bronx Prep's Tiffany and Keegon, putting them in the alternate slot for Nationals. The Oratory awards were a more encouraging affair, as Chris Moncrief finished in 2nd place, earning himself a slot at nationals for a remarkable third year in a row.

The good news is that BP will again be represented at Nationals and Chris Moncrief will have one last chance to compete on the national stage in the final six (he finished 7th and 8th in '08 and '09, respectively).

Additionally, the season is far from over. Tiff and Keegon will have their shot at redemption when the NY State Championships rolls around and Bronx Prep fields a larger, more competitive squad than last year.

Until then, the sting will subside and the team will get back to work. No matter what the setback, in the world of forensics, there is always another tournament and another shot at victory. As the postseason approaches, each shot brings an opportunity for greater glory. Here's hoping this year's postseason is as glorious as ever.

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