Our Lady of Victory Catholic School takes top honors at Diocesan Forensics competition
EBENSBURG — What do board games, tornadoes and field trips have in common?
They are all topics that Our Lady of Victory Catholic School (OLVCS) seventh-grader Helena Sicree had to creatively speak about in order to win first place at the Diocesan Middle School Forensics competition.
The competition was held on March 28 at Bishop Carroll High School. Competitors from all the Diocesan middle schools who had qualified at the regional-level were invited to attend. The regional competition had take place earlier in the month.
“On this final day, each category has 12 competitors,” explained Andrea Brandimarte, OLVCS’s forensics team coach and middle school language arts teacher. “After two rounds, only six people in each category get to compete in Round 3; and from there, they get medals for sixth through first place.”
The OLVCS Forensics team consisted of 16 students — 13 of which qualified for the Diocesan tournament. At the Diocesan tournament, OLVCS students competed in the impromptu, informative, persuasive, prose and poetry categories.
Eight OLVCS students made it to the final round of the Diocesan competition.
While Sicree won big in the in the impromptu speech category, OLVCS seventh grader Hope Kotary also earned a first-place ribbon for her performance in the poetry category titled, “Five Shel Silverstein Poems.”
Five additional students also took honors at the Diocesan competition: Sofia Mauro (second place, poetry), Mary Capriani (third place, poetry), Anna Razzano (fourth place, persuasive), Tara Hershbine (fourth place, prose) and Page Kotary (fifth place, informative).
This year, Brandimart was assisted by her Penn State teaching intern, Dominica Killeen, in helping coach the students.
Competing in forensics is generally new for most students.
“I felt a little nervous because this was my first time doing forensics,” explained OLVCS eighth grader David Essig, who competed in the informative category. “But, other than that, I felt confident (at the competition).”
Essig’s presentation was on John F. Kennedy.
“I would beseech other students to join so that they can be great speakers too,” added Essig.