Students Attend Poetry Competition - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Students Attend Poetry Competition

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Public speaking is a very common fear, but not for these high school students. Kids from across North Dakota had no problem presenting in front of big crowds today at the Poetry Out Loud State Competition.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I think I could have won, don't you? No, these 17 fierce competitors poured out their hearts on stage today.

Julius Ellis and Billy Zottnick were among fierce competitors this morning 17 high school students from across the state stepped up to the mic and threw down for the first place title.

Ellis knows the hardship of competition all too well.

"It's tough. Hang on. It's, you know, sometimes you do feel fail, like four times," says Ellis. "This being my fourth and final time, you keep failing. But you also have to keep getting up and keep trying again, trying again, trying harder."

Zottnick too has competed and lost at the school level. He says no matter where he ends up, this entire experience is to learn.

"You know, if nothing else, public speaking is something you'll get out of this. Take it with you for the rest of your life," says Zottnick. "That's even if you don't win, you know, it's a great experience."

"I think just watching that helped him with his performance today. Just watching those first few in front of him. So he's improved a lot and just- OH! It's been fun watching these other performers. Just really fantastic stuff," says Edgeley coach Beverly Weigel.

Students compete first at their school, then go to the state competition and finally the national competition.

"I definitely say watch out other states. I think we have some fantastic competitors this year," says Rebecca Engelman of the North Dakota Council of Arts.

Competition officials say they're amazed at the amount of talent.

"And you can tell for these students to get up on that stage and have people looking at them, you know, and news media, it's very challenging. And it takes a lot of sophistication," says Engelman.

Each of the students was recognized for their participation.

The first place winner, Julia Johnson from Shanley, Fargo, receives $200 and an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National POL competition. Second and third place went to Lindsey Bertsch from Minot High School and Marcie Woehl from Mandan High School.
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