The LaRue County High School Speech Team is headed into the halfway point of the season on a roll, having recorded several impressive team and individual performances at recent invitational tournaments.
The team traveled to Washington, D.C. for the ninth annual Patriot Games Classic hosted by George Mason University at the beginning of December. The Patriot Games is the largest invitational high school speech tournament in the country, with more than 1,900 entries from 104 schools representing the best competition from around the country. Against such stiff competition, three LaRue County students advanced into elimination rounds.
Junior Curtis Milby advanced to the quarterfinal rounds of storytelling, poetry and humorous interpretation. Sophomores Brian Anderson and Alison Schurfeld posted the best showings of the tournament, with Schurfeld advancing to the final round of oratorical declamation, eventually finishing seventh in that event.
Anderson was the most successful LaRue County student, advancing to quarterfinals in extemporaneous speaking and oratorical declamation, semifinals of prose, and the final round of poetry, finishing fourth. His success in multiple events ended up netting Anderson an 11th place finish in overall individual sweepstakes.
Closer to home, the Hawks continued their dominating performance at the “Battle at the Creek” Invitational held at Fern Creek High School in Louisville this past weekend. The team came away with a first place sweepstakes finish, beating several opponents from around the region.
In individual awards, Zachary Thurman placed second in storytelling and fourth in prose; Joey Gearon and Dalton Puckett placed fifth in duo acting; Amarah Reed and Marshall Metcalf placed fourth in duo acting and fourth in improvisational duo; Christian Pope placed third in declamation and fourth in dramatic interpretation; Madison Lee placed second in original oratory and second in poetry; Schurfeld and Elijah Thomas placed third in duo acting; Schurfeld placed sixth in declamation and first in oratory; and Brian Anderson placed second in impromptu, first in poetry and first in extemporaneous speaking.
Both of these wins are coming off of a weekend of several first place awards and another team championship at Western Kentucky University’s Alumni Swing. This tournament, which is really two tournaments in one, is held each year on WKU’s campus and hosted by WKU’s nationally acclaimed speech team.
LCHS Speech took first place overall in both halves of the tournament and netted individual championships in poetry (Maddie Lee); broadcasting (Thurman); duo (Reed/Metcalf); storytelling (Thurman); extemporaneous speaking (Anderson); humorous interp (Milby); and poetry (Thomas). Other team members won several individual awards as well, with LCHS being represented in the finals of nearly every event throughout the day.
LCMS Speech has also begun its season with some very impressive performances. Under the direction of new coach Darrell Stillwell, the team has traveled to WKU for the Hilltopper Classic and to Ockerman Middle School for the Ockerman/Scott Swing.
Individual awards at the Hilltopper Classic include Breea Kirkpatrick, second place in poetry; Elena Cecil, third place in poetry; Haley Evans, fifth place in solo acting; and Alexia Trumbo, third place in declamation.
At the Ockerman Swing, Kirkpatrick took first in both poetry and prose; Cecil took fifth in poetry; and Trumbo took second in declamation in one tournament and fifth in the second. The LCMS Speech Team took 6th place overall at all three tournaments.
“I am very excited to be a part of this program,” said Coach Stillwell. “We are small, but I can see big things in our future!”
LCHS Speech Coach Katy Cecil also commented, “Darrell is a great addition to our coaching staff. He is learning a lot, and I know that he build an incredible feeder program for our high school team. We are only going to get better from here.”
After the winter break the team will continue their season with tournaments in Danville, Marshall County, Lexington, and Atlanta, Ga., throughout the month of January.