5 SCHS students to NCFL tournament
Who hasn’t engaged in a quick match of rock-paper-scissors to decide who gets to be first to bat in a game of baseball or who rides shotgun when traveling with friends?
But has anyone really thought where the game comes from?
Jordan Wagner provides the answer in an entertaining way in “The Legend of Rock, Paper and Scissors” which he is taking to the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament being held May 25-26 in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Wagner, a spring graduate of Scott Community High School, is among five local students who qualified for the tournament.
The high-energy piece enjoyed a lot of success in forensics competition this spring and Wagner placed fourth in the national qualifying tournament held at Wamego.
The piece was suggested by forensics coach Summer Ford and as she began reading the story Wagner quickly began to assume the many characters.
It didn’t take long for him to realize this was the right piece for him.
“Once I read this book, I knew this was it. I knew it was something kids and adults would like,” says Wagner, who is making his first trip to nationals.
He originally performed it as a prose until it was memorized. Wagner is taking it to nationals as a humorous interpretation. After getting it memorized, he was able to spend some time on the choreography.
One of the challenges was having a different voice and posture for each of the nine characters.
“You have to be very consistent and careful not to lose the accent you give to a character. You have to constantly be thinking about each character and what comes next,” explains Wagner.
The dialogue tells how rock, paper and scissors began as three great warriors who couldn’t be defeated by anyone - until they met each other. Each character fights two different people. Paper, for example, fights a computer printer and a half-eaten bag of trail mix.
“The majority of the judges have really liked the humor,” Wagner says.
Qualifying for nationals with an original oration, “The Fragile Generation,” is sophomore Paige Prewit.
She was inspired to write the speech because she feels many young people are “too fragile to cope with a lot of challenges” they face.
“People are too sensitive about things,” Prewit says. “Some try to make an issue of whether you say Christmas carols or holiday carols. People create controversy where none needs to exist.”
Combining their talents in duo acting at the national tournament will be sophomores Judy Wiebe and Olivia Wagner.
“The Banality Briefs” follows two close friends at different stages in their lives
“Judy and I are very good friends, so this was something we could easily relate to,” says Wagner.
Wiebe says that each time they perform the piece they gain a greater appreciation for the humor. The humor is something which judges have appreciated as well.
They had a lot of success throughout the forensics season, taking first or second place in nearly every competition.
What separates “duo acting” in the NCFL from “duet acting” in regular forensics competition is that throughout the act neither person can come into contact or look at each other.
Performing in the oral interpretation of literature (OIL) will be Abbi Ford, who made the trip to nationals last year as a debater.
Students present selections in two categories - prose and poetry - alternating between the two from round to round.
The poetry piece was very successful during the season, but the prose was a late addition just ahead of the qualifying tournament.
“I think the humor in both of them is what appeals to the judges,” says Ford.
Having made the trip to nationals before and seeing the competition will be helpful this time around, adds the junior.
“I attended a camp last summer where I had the opportunity to see and learn from champions at the national level,” she says. “That definitely has given me a lot of confidence.”
And while SCHS students are hoping to bring home some hardware from the national tournament, there’s added incentive for making the trip.
“I’m excited about performing, but I’m more excited about taking a cheese tour,” adds Jordan Wagner. “I really, really love cheese.”