June 1, 2014 at 10:59 PM
RANDOLPH, NJ - Looking to finish out the season strong, Randolph Middle School Forensics attended a tournament at Long Valley Middle School on May 30. They did just that, returning home with an impressive array of accolades. Long Valley offered trophies for the top three competitors in four events, and out of the 12 trophies given out, Randolph claimed six.
In Declamation, an event where students recite a previously given speech, eighth-graders Bryn Bennett and Nikhik Naik took first place and second place, respectively. Sixth-grader Katherine Hu placed third in Improvisational Acting, where a student makes up a skit on the spot. Randolph eighth-graders once again dominated Prose (reading and interpretation of a novel or short story), closing out the top three with Caitlyn Dempsey taking third place, and Bryn Bennett and Brett Ludwig tying for first.
After months of practicing with coaches Nina Mlenak and Aaron Bennett, the RMS team saw the culmination of its hard work in three very successful tournaments at the end of the year. From these three competitions, the team brought home twenty-two trophies and five event championships.
"I could not be more proud of and happy for these kids," high school Junior and forensics competitor Aaron Bennett. "Every single kid on this team has improved since the beginning of the year, and that's what Randolph forensics is about. Yes, the trophies are great, but at the end of the day, if our kids are having fun, learning important communications skills and growing as performers, then I'm doing my job right."
Aaron Bennett's tenure as mentor of the middle school team has ended on a very high note. Next year, he will serve as President of the Randolph High School Forensics team. However, he still plans to be active at the middle school.
"It's hard to let go of the middle school team after three years of working with them. I'll definitely come back to help as much as I possibly can."
The eighth graders Bennett has been working with for three years will join him at the high school next in the fall. Meanwhile, a talented core of sixth and seventh graders are more than ready to step up and claim more success for Randolph next year. When asked how he predicts Randolph Forensics will do next season, Bennett responded very simply.
"Expect big things."