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The Purple Clarion

Four students attend State speech tournament

Hannah Nance
Juniors Bella Teston, Natalie Beck, Zech Underwood and Freshman Noah Billman attend state speech tournament.

Juniors Bella Teston, Natalie Beck, and Zech Underwood and Noah Billman participated in the State  speech tournament, placing  in the top 10 throughout the whole state in their events.

Teston has competed at two state tournaments prior to this year.

“This year I performed in the events dramatic interpretation and poetry reading, both are acting events which is an activity I adore,” Teston said. “State was challenging, fun, and an amazing opportunity.”

Teston added that she prepares for her tournaments by practicing on her own time and with her coaches.

Beck said that the state tournament was held at the Peoria Center so it can be very intimidating, but she does her best not to let the intimidation get to her.

“I have performed all three years I’ve been in high school,” Beck said.

Beck competes in HDA, which is a humorous duet acting, it’s like a mini play that someone would  put on with another person.

Billman was the only freshman in Illinois to compete  in individual events. He was double entered in the tournament, which means that he competed in two events in one tournament.

“State was a great experience,” Billman said. “I have attended two (State) tournaments, one in 8th grade to observe and one this year competing.”

Billman’s parents, Tyler and Jenny, are speech coaches for the SIC Forensic Falcons and his father was a state speech champion when he attended HHS in the 90s. 

Underwood said  that he was very honored to be in the State tournament because it’s difficult to qualify.

“I have attended three State tournaments during my freshman, sophomore, and junior years,”  Underwood  said.

All four will have another opportunity to compete at the State tournament next year.

Beck said  that once a competitor gets to state,  it’s keeping focused and not letting everything around them or other people’s performances affect what they do.

“A lot of preparation for tournaments is your mindset, the beginning of the season is mostly when you learn your pieces and slowly perfect them throughout the year,” Beck said.

Teston feels that their performance is noteworthy. “Unfortunately we didn’t make it to finals but we placed in our events as top ten out of the entire state which is a great achievement. We are all still extremely proud of ourselves,” Teston said.

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Sydney DeVous
Sydney DeVous, Staff Writer
Sydney DeVous is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her first year on the Purple Clarion staff. She participates in History Club. She has worked at Kroger for almost 2 years. She really enjoys spending time at home with her family and cat.  “Journalism is definitely important for students to learn about so they know how to properly publish something if they need to.”

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