Braden Tanner and Zac McCray perform in the LCHS auditorium for the student body during Spirit Week festivities. The sophomores have qualified for the IHSA state speech tournament on Friday and Saturday in Peoria.

Tanner and McCray qualify for state speech tournament

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[February 21, 2014]  CHARLESTON  Lincoln Community High School sophomores Braden Tanner and Zac McCray qualified last Saturday for state final competition in the IHSA speech tournament. They were among LCHS students who competed in the individual events sectional in Charleston.

The top three placers in each of the 14 individual events move forward to the state finals at Peoria Civic Center in Peoria on Friday and Saturday.

Tanner and McCray placed third in humorous duet acting with the piece "Hypothetically Yours," Katie Newport's humorous play about one man requesting the assistance of his girlfriend's brother to create an amazing engagement proposal story. As the two go through the eight-minute presentation, they role play various "hypothetical" situations that lead to hilarity as McCray portrays his sister and her many voices and emotions.

Tanner and senior Matthew Langdon broke into the final six at sectionals with their dramatic duet acting piece "The Old Boy," by A.R. Gurney, but heartbreakingly placed fourth. The remaining six events that qualified for sectionals performed well but did not break into the final elimination round.

"Each of the six sectional sites send their top three, so regardless of how Braden and Zac do in the next round, they are among the best 18 in the state of Illinois," said coach Jennifer Keith.

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"I have been blessed this year by this team of hard workers," continued Keith, "and these young men are no exception. They have worked very hard on this piece, and it has been a joy to watch them grow this year as performers, their first year in speech.

"Rarely do novice performers do well in tournaments, let alone qualify for state competition," she said.

Tanner and McCray were able to showcase their talents for the student body on Feb. 13, prior to sectional competition, as they capped off the annual talent show during Spirit Week.

"Performing for over 1,000 people, most of them their peers, was amazing preparation for the sectional and state tournaments," Keith said earlier this week, "but don't worry, we will still be working hard this week to add more funny."

[Text from file received from Lincoln Community High School staff]

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