Forensics team travels to post-season competition in March

Autumn Turpin, Editor

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Four members of the Galileo High School Forensics Team traveled to West Point on Feb. 24 to compete at the Super-Regional competition, just two weeks after the regional competition, which took place Feb. 10 at Galileo.

Forensics is a competition to test social skills and public speaking talent.  Each student can compete in one of 10 events. All contestants are evaluated on timing, content, presentation, appearance, choice of topic, vocabulary, articulation and speech structure. As it is a public speaking competition, judges are also looking to see how well the student impacts listeners.

The ten categories of forensics are extemporaneous speaking, original oratory, impromptu, storytelling, poetry interpretation, serious dramatic interpretation, prose interpretation, humorous dramatic interpretation, serious duo interpretation, and humorous duo interpretation.

“I feel pretty good about placing first,” Junior Trevor Percario said. “I was very surprised.  In all honesty my topic seemed to be something that a lot of people would not agree with. I wrote my speech on the primary cause of the Civil War. Because it’s quite controversial among people, it makes for a more interesting discussion.”

Percario got first place in original oratory at both the regional and super-regional competitions.

“I was excited for the Super-Regionals because two of our members, Taylor Mangus and now-graduated Raphael Bianchi, have won medals at the state level before,” Club Sponsor Glenn Weyler said. ” This year, I hope to increase that number.”

Weyler has been the forensics sponsor at Galileo since the year it was begun in 2012.

“I begin gathering members of our team in early September and, through practice, we determine where each person’s strengths lie,” Weyler said. “By January, we are drilling and preparing for specific competitive events. As current members can tell you, we drill to handle stress such as disruption, tough audiences, and memory lapses. The key is to appear effortless and well prepared at the same time.”   

Junior Taylor Mangus placed second in extemporaneous, and Senior Nathan Priddy placed third in impromptu.

“For extemporaneous I had three separate speeches I had to give,” Mangus said. “My first speech was on net neutrality, my second was on the Mexican economy and my third was on the Doug Jones senate victory. I’m looking forward to state this year I hope to place either first or second because it would beat out my placement of third last year.”

This is Mangus’ second year competing on the forensics team and her second time attending the state competition.

Junior Alaina Berneche placed in second at both the regional and Super-Regional competition, both times in storytelling.

“I was really nervous for the competition, but pre-performance nerves are good,” Berneche said. “I was pretty happy with my placement, and I feel like I did pretty well.”

The State Forensics competition will take place March 24 at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian.

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