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Back on the podium; Slidell finishes second in Class A

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Claiming Silver

CLAIMING SILVER – The Slidell High School UIL academics team brought home second place in Class A after full spring of competition. Slidell compiled 93 points. Submitted photo

As freshmen, Taylor Davis and Shelby Johnson helped Slidell capture the Class A sweepstakes trophy at the UIL state academics meet.

This week, the now seniors completed their careers in UIL competition by keeping Slidell among the top schools in the state. Tallying 22 points at the UIL state speech meet, Slidell moved from off the podium to second in Class A. Slidell accumulated 93 points in the spring to finish behind only Gail Borden County with 172.

“It was a good way to end the UIL season. We’re proud of ourselves and how we represented Slidell,” Davis said.

In the past four years, Slidell has finished first, third, third and second in Class A.

“It’s nice to go out on a high note,” Johnson said. “It’s important to us. We work really hard to represent Slidell and compete. It’s nice to get something in return.”

Slidell had three speakers place in three events to add to its previous tally from the UIL academics meet and one-act play competition held earlier this month. Slidell was in fourth heading into the speech tournament and passed two schools to get to second.

“They are highly competitive,” said Beth Dill, the school’s speech sponsor. “I’m impressed with what they’ve done. They’ve worked hard this season and deserved a positive result.

“[This senior class] is extremely special. They’ve been successful every year. We will miss them.”

Knowing it was her last time to compete at the state level, Davis admitted her nerves were a little more on edge as she delivered her prose pieces and made her final speech in informative speaking.

Though she claimed there was a stutter or two in the competition, Davis capped her career with a pair of state medals. She finished second in informative speaking and third in prose.

“It was awesome getting second and third, but it felt bittersweet,” Davis said. “This was my last time competing and my last speech ever.”

It was not quite her last speech. The Slidell valedictorian had another speech to deliver Friday.

Her teammate, Madison Splawn, finished fifth in prose.

“It was my first year doing prose, and I knew it would be hard to get through. I was surprised to get to finals,” Splawn said. “The goal was to do the best I could.”

Johnson competed in poetry and persuasive speaking. The defending state champion in poetry, he was disappointed to miss the finals in the event. The two-time state best actor did finish his UIL career with a fifth-place showing in persuasive speaking.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to go down [to Austin] and compete,” Johnson said.

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