Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The Bronx Prep Speech Team went big on a national level this postseason as our students matched up with the best of the best at the CFL National Championships. Thousands of students from every state in the country came to Omaha, Nebraska for the penultimate tournament in the 2009-2010 season. BP fielded an impressive three entries in three events: Tayshawn Layton in Dramatic Performance, Keegon Robinson and Tiffany McLarty in Duo Interpretation, and Chris Moncrief in Original Oratory.

These four students had to qualify for this tournament by placing 6th or better at the NYCFL Grand Tournament, held at Stuyvesant High School, back in March. Chris, Tiffany, Keegon and Tayshawn all saw action in a Semifinal or Final Round at the State Championships and these young people arrived in Omaha ready for an exciting weekend and seeking glory on the national level.

The competition was as fierce as can be expected at a tournament of this caliber and after a grueling day of competition, the team took a minute to explore Omaha and it's peaceful riverfront. But the serenity was punctured by the excitement of the dance party, hosted by the tournament, which also served as the announcements for the Out Rounds. Chris, Tiffany and Keegon all went through after the first break and Tayshawn posted strong marks in her first three rounds - putting her in the top 100 Dramatic Performers in the country. Her fresh, fast-paced RE-interpretation of The Princess Bride was a pretty awesome way to round out her speech career.

Tiff and Keegon went all out in their octo-final round, but it wasn't meant to be. A CFL Octofinal round is a tricky thing; you're top 50 in the country and suddenly the competition is insane. Tiff and Keegon just missed the cut, ending their season with one of the most provocative pieces on the circuit. This was strong work, day in and day out and they have much to be proud of.

As does... Team Manager, Chris Moncrief. Chris recovered after squeezing through in a challenging quarterfinal round, delivered a smash semifinal performance and found himself at a pinnacle of high school forensics: The Final Round at CFL Nationals. The students performed for a packed lecture hall and the round was excellent, with students from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maryland, California, and our own Bronx Boy, Chris representing New York. Chris nailed his speech - a complex consideration of the roles individuals cast and take on in our society - and left it to the judges to determine the result.

Chris stood proudly in the convention hall in front of thousands for the awards ceremony, where he collected his third place trophy. His success put him in elite company as a speaker to watch for the upcoming NFL National tournament - the only tournament bigger than the CFL National. But do pause to consider Chris's achievement here at CFL's: He was the third place finisher in a tournament with hundreds of students from across the country - all of whom had finished in the top six or better in their region! He's at the top of his game and he's written an excellent speech - and it's easy for most judges to see that.

All but one tournament remains on the Bronx Prep schedule, but it's the biggest one of all: The NFL National Championships - a week-long competition, featuring over 5,000 students from nearly every school with a forensics program in America. Chris Moncrief is BP's only entry, but after finishing in the money at the CFL, he is aiming for a speech student's holy grail: the NFL National Final Round, which is streamed live on the internet and recorded for distribution on DVD. Can Chris bring it all home? Stay tuned!

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