Speech Team Hosts High School Forensic tournament

November 28, 2012

Photographed with "George Armstrong" are speech team members Junior Ocasio, Talan Tyminsai and Savannah Jones

By Brigitte Graf '13

On Nov. 30, 18 schools and 350 high school students, parents and teachers from across the nation will gather on Bradley's campus for the George Armstrong Heart of Illinois Invitational. 

According to senior public relations major and current president of the speech team, Ubaldo "Junior" Ocasio, the tournament is a "win-win" for both Bradley and the participating students.

"It is a great way to market the Bradley name, offer high school students an opportunity to meet the team and tour the campus, as well as providing an enjoyable tournament for our hosts," Ocasio said.

The tournament is held in honor of George Armstrong, a celebrated former director of forensics at the University in the 1970s and 1980s. The weekend will also feature another opportunity for visiting students to get a taste for what Bradley has to offer.

"We have an event called Sports Broadcasting in which students have to give a play-by-play broadcast for an athletic game," Ocasio said. "We offer this event to help promote our new major in the communications department, Sports Communication. It is a unique event as we are the only high school tournament that offers it."

In addition, the speech team, along with Peoria lawyer and former team member Jay Janssen '59, will sponsor the Janssen Oratorical Contest, a competition in which the top three high school seniors can win scholarships to attend Bradley as members of the speech team.

Over the course of the weekend, participants will be able to learn more about the summer forensics institute held on campus every year. This institute offers high schoolers the opportunity to spend two weeks during the summer months on campus training with the speech team and learn just what Bradley forensics is all about.

"The camp's program is incredibly successful and we love the opportunity to teach and educate high school students on the logistics of forensics, and how they can best use the opportunities they are given to speak for those who can't speak for themselves," Ocasio said.

Bradley forensics has met with success so far this semester, and the team as a whole is ready to continue its winning tradition throughout the spring semester. However, team members look forward to the George Armstrong tournament as an opportunity to guide and share with high school students the possibilities that await them in college forensics.

"We are excited to be in the perfect position to put our own speeches aside to promote high school forensics and find potential recruits for the school and the team," Ocasio said.