SIC Forensic Falcons Soar at Pioneer Trails Tournament
The Southeastern Illinois College Forensic Falcons earned several individual awards at the 2022 Pioneer Trails Invitational Tournament, which SIC co-hosted with Wyoming’s Casper College. The event included fourteen colleges and universities from nine states, including teams from Pennsylvania to California.
Casper College is coached by Doug Hall and Ethan Fife, two alumni of Southeastern Illinois College.
Sophomore Haley Rice earned special distinction as the tournament’s top individual events competitor, taking home the Gretchen Wheeler Individual Events Sweepstakes Award. She also earned the Dr. Jonah Rice Advocacy Award as the tournament champion in persuasive speaking, an especially meaningful accomplishment given that the award is named after her father, SIC President and former Forensic Falcons coach Dr. Jonah Rice. This new award comes with a $200 gift to the charity of the winner’s choice. Haley Rice has chosen St. Louis Children’s Hospital as the recipient.
The Falcons were especially thankful for their tournament success in the face of inclement weather. Coach John Corum explains, “Our Environmental Services department worked hard to clear the lots and make sure we could compete safely. As always, the tournament was a team effort.”
Team member Omari Jackson echoed her appreciation. “I’m glad I was able to spend my time doing something I love.”
Each tournament serves as preparation for the 2022 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, which the Falcons will host. The team is coached by Jenny Billman, John Corum, and Paul Cummins.
Individual results from the tournament are as follows.
Haley Rice (Stonefort) – Tournament champion in communication analysis, tournament champion in speech to entertain, tournament champion in persuasion speaking, 2nd in informative speaking, Dr. Jonah Rice award, Gretchen Wheeler award for tournament champion in individual sweepstakes.
Omari Jackson (Mt. Vernon) – Tournament champion in poetry interpretation, tournament champion in prose interpretation, 3rd in program oral interpretation
Landon Gates (Harrisburg) – Tournament champion in informative speaking
Isaiah Francis (Marion) – 2nd in speech to entertain
Trey Murphy (Benton) – 4th in duo interpretation (with partner Jenkin Naas)
Jenkin Naas (Harrisburg) – 4th in duo interpretation (with partner Trey Murphy)