TAHS Speech Team attends winter competition

From 2:30 until 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, the 10 members of Tyrone High’s Speech Team attended The Winter Competition of The Central Pennsylvania Speech League, held at Juniata Valley High School in nearby Alexandria, PA.
In addition to Juniata Valley students, teenage speakers came from Central, Southern Huntingdon, Tyrone, and Williamsburg High Schools for this Annual Winter Speech Competition.
Approximately 50 students participated in The Winter Competition which included a dinner provided, courtesy of the Juniata Valley School District. According to Tyrone Speech Coach and Ninth Grade English Teacher Richard Merryman, the 10 Tyrone student speakers performed a variety of poetry, prose and original speeches
Freshman Niko Lambert traveled back more than a thousand years to perform a dramatic Fight Scene from The Ancient Anglo Saxon Epic Poem Beowulf. Freshman Ryan Bressler performed Winston Churchill’s inspiring World War II Prose Speech to the British Parliament entitled, We Will Fight Them On The Beaches. Freshman Charlene Wilson Adams orally interpreted the closing of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech. Freshman Nichole Mallon performed a modern poem by the celebrated African-American writer Maya Angelou called Still I Rise. Freshman Aleah Hoy extracted a poem from a student poetry Internet Site dubbed Poetry 180, wherein the poem narrator returns to speak from the grave in a selection about A Tombstone Epitaph. Finally, Freshman Marah Hawes performed a piece from the anthology Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul entitled, I Won’t Be Left Behind.
Varsity football players Matthew Murray, Joshua Bradley, and Russell Beck performed three poems that contrasted hugely in theme. Sophomore Murray chose a piece by The Mystical British Poet William Blake entitled Night, while Tyrone Junior Joshua Bradley offered a humorous nonsense poem called The Jumblies by the ever popular Edward Lear. Senior Russ Beck performed the work by A. E. Housmann entitled To An Athlete Dying Young. In this sad poem, a solemn narrator offers comfort to an athlete who has died young, telling him that he will not have to suffer the humiliation of seeing other runners break his records.
Senior Alexis Pazmino competed in The Original Speech Category when she delivered A Patriotic Speech she composed entitled Freedom’s Challenge. In that speech, Pazmino discussed the marvelous blessing of living in a land like America, where citizens can question the practices of their country.
As in other speech competitions, two judges evaluated each student competitor in terms of speaker introductions, speech content, speaker voice qualities, and speaker appearance. Also, contest judges usually provided specific written feedback to assist students with improving their speaking skills.
Reflecting on the Winter 2007 Speech Competition, Coach Merryman made this observation: This Winter Competition at Juniata Valley marks The 95th Year Of Tyrone’s Speech Team. The team began in 1912, and held two hugely popular debates with Huntingdon High School in 1914 and 1915, about issues relating to World War I. School Diaries indicate that hundreds of people rode the train to Huntingdon to hear The Speech Team perform at a downtown theatre. Nearly a century later, the students on the Tyrone Speech Team continue to appreciate the enthusiastic support that the team receives from school board members, school administrators, parents, teachers, and many citizens throughout the community for their speaking endeavors.
In particular, speech team members want to commend Tyrone Athletic Director Thomas Coleman and his efficient secretary Shelly Chronister for all of their moral support. These students notice that Mr. Coleman has proven himself an authentic renaissance man by encouraging speech at Tyrone as a real sport. And Coleman’s secretary Mrs. Chronister always guarantees that the team has appropriate mini-bus transportation.
To honor Mr. Coleman, the speech team has invited him to perform on the school public address system to commemorate the opening day of baseball season in April 2007. And of course there can be no better poem for Head Baseball Coach and Star Pitcher Tom Coleman to perform than the ever-popular Casey At The Bat. Stay tuned for coverage of Mr. Coleman’s Spring Speech Performance of Casey At The Bat.