It’s an early Saturday morning and most students are still in bed, sleeping off the late-night football game, recovering from another week of school, not worried about much of anything except how long they can put off their homework and just enjoy their weekend. It’s not even full daylight yet, and the sun is barely peeking over the horizon. The speech and debate students have been up for hours and are now in Lindale, Texas, buttoning up their suit jackets and sliding on high heels in preparation for their first rounds of competition.
Six speech members traveled to Lindale on September 22 to compete in various events. Some of these events included Prose and Poetry and Extemporaneous Speaking.
“I was so exhausted that morning because it was a Saturday and I usually sleep in,” senior Tana Cleveland said. “But I was excited and nervous at the same time for the competition,”
There were a total of 44 schools competing in the meet. The Bison team brought back three medals.
“The Lindale speech meet is always competitive,” coach Melonie Menefee said. “I was proud of how well they all did.”
Senior Tana Cleveland placed fifth in both Prose and Poetry. Senior Josalyn Taylor also competed in those events, as did Nishit Tailor.
“I wasn’t too pleased with my results because I think I could have done better,” Taylor said. “But it could have received worse results.”
Junior Nishit Tailor was competing for the first time as part of the team and made it to semi-finals.
“This was my first time competing,” Tailor said. “I believe I did a good job for a first-timer.”
Junior Colby Menefee made semi-finals in Congress and placed fifth in Original Oratory.
“I was glad to have a chance to start on my Original Oratory earlier than usual this year,” Menefee said. “It’s a long speech and getting in front of judges this early will be helpful later in the year.”
On the way back the team stopped at IHOP for dinner and discussion time. They ended up arriving back in town at 11:00 – typical of a speech-meet Saturday.
“It was a long and nerve-wracking day,” Rhodes, who made semis in extemp, said. “But I really enjoyed it and had fun.”