Coronavirus may have wiped out their chance to win a state championship, but it can’t take away the region title that Cartersville High School’s literary meet team members won last month.
For the second consecutive year, the team was named the regional champion at the Region 5AAAA Literary Meet Feb. 26 at the Carroll County Performing Arts Center in Carrollton.
“It was very exciting to take home the first-place trophy two years in a row,” said Literary Meet Coordinator Jim Stanley, who teaches chorus and piano at the school. “I was very proud of our students and how well they represented our school in all areas of competition.”
CHS students placed third or higher in every category of competition, which consisted of 12 events in several different disciplines, except one and earned a total of 57 points, beating second-place LaGrange High School’s score of 35 by a significant 22-point margin.
“It was an impressive lead over all the other schools in our region,” Stanley said. “Again, it was a reflection of how well our students represented us and the high level at which they were able to compete.”
Besides LaGrange, Cartersville also competed against teams from Cedartown, Central-Carroll, Chapel Hill, Sandy Creek and Troup County high schools.
Winning first-place awards were Margaret Gaines, Argumentative Essay; Nuren Lara, Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking; Kaitlyn Turner and Yasmine Balderas, Duo Dramatic Interpretation; and Kevin Barnhart, Paul Hassler, Carson Teems and Nate Everett, Boys’ Quartet.
Taking second place were Fardia Karim, International Extemporaneous Speaking; Ian Kamau, Humorous Dramatic Interpretation; Mae Easter, Dramatic Interpretation; and Kevin Barnhart, Boys’ Solo.
Third place went to Trista Ngo, Rhetorical Essay; Chloe Bacon, Girls’ Solo; and Rylee Barkley, Chloe Bacon and Trinity Atkins, Girls’ Trio.
Barnhart, 17, was thrilled to be part of the first-place quartet, which performed “River in Judea” and “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight” at the competition.
“I was absolutely stoked that we got first because we worked very hard, and it was exciting to see that all that hard work paid off,” he said.
The junior also was excited about his solo finish.
“Getting second in the solo competition was like getting a taste of victory for me, and I want more,” he said. “Next year, I’m going to work even harder to hopefully go for the gold.”
Barnhart said he competed in the meet “because I enjoy singing.”
“With the added competition, it was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was really great to meet new people and to show off what we had worked so hard on.”
All first-place finishers at the region meet were supposed to advance to the state competition last Saturday at Veterans High School in Kathleen, but it was scratched due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It was canceled; however, we do not yet know details as to if or when it will be rescheduled,” Stanley said.