Senior brings home the bacon

Senior brings home the bacon

Local student wins $10,000 scholarship at speaking competition

 There he stood with his knees shaking, realizing that very soon,  his dream may finally become a reality. He was one of the three contestants still left standing after  hours of speeches, and he had not made it this far to not get first. Third place was announced and then second, and his name had not yet been called. Realization finally dawned upon him, after all his work he had finally won a statewide competition.

 Senior Dylan Bacon won the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Agricultural Public Speaking Contest Saturday, February 15. The competition had over 150 contestants and lasted over a span of 10 hours with the top 3 speakers winning $10,000 scholarships.

 “When I found out that I had won the competition and one of the 3 scholarships, my knees physically went weak and I honestly couldn’t think clearly,” Bacon said. “Winning the scholarship was especially big for me, because I have had this hunger to win some money to support my end of my college expenses so I could take some of the burden off of my family.”

 The competition consisted of two rounds, prelims and finals, where the contestants would give a 6-8 minute speech, followed by a 5 minute questioning period by a panel of judges who would determine the contestants’ knowledge over their subject area. At the end of  prelims, the top 2 speakers of each room would advance to the finals, where all finalists would repeat the process.

 “I knew how badly Dylan wanted to win that contest, so when he was announced to be one of the top three finalists and that he had won a scholarship, you could see him grab onto the stage to steady himself,” freshman Whitney Bacon, Dylan’s younger sister, said.  “He had been working for quite a while on the speech, and had put in a lot of research. It had gotten to the point so that on the way up to San Antonio you could even hear him practicing his speech under his breath.”

  Dylan teachers and peers alike are all extremely proud of the time and dedication he put forward into this competition. He has represented not only the school well, but also the town of Lindale.

 “Dylan is a great young man who is incredibly enthusiastic about everything he does whether it be academics, being a drum major, or being our local FFA chapter’s president,” teacher Rebecca Curry said. “His enthusiasm is very contagious, so it is very easy for people to want to do and be like him. He is an awesome young man with a lot of integrity, great work ethic, and he always motivates others to do more than they think they can.”

 As the winner of the competition, Dylan won a felt banner, a championship buckle, and the scholarship. This was the first time he has won a major competition.

 “I actually felt horrible after prelims because I went into the room and everything in my speech I did was good except for this little ‘flub’ I had in the middle, but luckily I managed to keep it together and finished it out strong,” Bacon said. “Honestly, however, I did not expect to make it to finals and thought that my family and I had wasted our time and money, but when it was announced that I had advanced, I told myself I definitely had to win this thing because I certainly didn’t want to mess up twice and waste this trip and opportunity. I am mostly grateful for the San Antonio Livestock show because they have given out over 134 million dollars towards student education like mine.”

Photo Courtesy of Holley Snow, Communications Specialist

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