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Literary team takes first place win at the state level

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Literary team takes first place win at the state level

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Sequoyah High School took the first-place win in the 2018 6A Literary State Championship on March 17. The team placed in every one of the six events—Dramatic Interpretation, International Extemporaneous Speaking, Boys Quartet, Boys Solo, Girls Trio, and Girls Solo—ultimately contributing to the shared victory. First through fourth placements bring each team points.  ultimately allowed Sequoyah to bring home the first-place championship for earning the most cumulative points. 


The majority of the team points a finger upward to show they are number one in the literary state championship. The competition took place on March 17 and featured six different events.

Junior Max Frye competed and placed first in International Extemporaneous Speaking, an event in which speaking skills are put to the test. He was chosen by English teacher and Speech coach Katie Maher, who convinced Frye, a varsity Lincoln-Douglas debater who was an alternate for Nationals in his first year, to try the speech team. 

Competitors in this event had 30 minutes to prepare and memorize a speech of seven minutes on a random topic concerning current events. 

“They have a very similar extemporaneous speaking actually within speech [team],” Frye said. “The main difference is there are slight rule variations. Essentially, you get a list of possible topics, but you don’t get your actual topic until you get there.” 

Frye’s only practice came from his experience with public speaking and Internet searches from home. 

“I did some research about my actual topics, but I also watched a lot of videos of people actually giving extemporaneous speeches,” Frye said. “Regions was first time ever giving an extemporaneous speech, and State was my second time.” 

Junior Patrick Fagan had the opportunity of competing in two events, earning the top place in Boys Quartet with sophomore Jace Nichols, junior Aaron Whittle, and senior Daniel Tye and third place by himself in Boys Solo. 


Sophomore Jace Nichols, junior Patrick Fagan, junior Aaron Whittle, and senior Daniel Tye stand shoulder-to-shoulder with smiles extending ear-to-ear next to the state champions trophy. After the quartet’s performance for Principal Eliott Berman’s celebration assembly, several students approached Fagan and said they were not aware the school even had a quartet.

In addition to the private lessons he takes with Mr. Markham, Fagan practiced wherever he could to prepare himself for competition, including at his home, in the shower, and in the car. Only after this competition was he able to compare between past chorus-related events. 

“Literary is different from other vocal events because it’s a competition,” Fagan said. “Events like All-State and Reading chorus are just days to practice with a different choir and then perform. Literary is like the state championship for the fine arts.” 

Senior Ashley Adams won fourth place in the Argumentative Essay category. The chance of competing on the literary team came as a voluntary option given by the literature teachers. Adams took up the opportunity to test her capacity of writing learned over the years and in her literary magazine class. 

At the state competition, Adams received fourth place. Pondering back on the region competition, Adams remembers she felt surprised to learn that she had won first place despite going past the 600-word count limit. 

“I had to monitor very closely where my word count was, and I got 694 words, so I was concerned that I would be disqualified, but apparently I wasn’t,” Adams said. “I was surprised, but I also thought that I had done a good job on my essay, so I was proud of that.” 

This year’s win to Adams means the fulfillment of participating on a team with members she was close to and who collectively pooled their efforts for a common goal.  

“I actually know most of the people on the team personally because I’m involved in chorus a lot and a majority of the team was for chorus-related events,” Adams said. “Just knowing that these “ 

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