Commitment. Consistency.  Confidence.

March 11, 2021


The Forensics team from Eastside High School know all about these attributes. For years, they have excelled in competition after competition.  However, they never take for granted the blessings they have received.  Having Coaches like Shane Burke and Heather Marchant have been an invaluable asset to the team.  Talent is only the first step.  Like other athletes, they must practice all year round to keep their skills honed and their focus set on achieving the goals that are before them.  

There are no easy battles in life.  These students, like so many others, have found this to be especially true during this pandemic. Adapting to the changing uncertainties of life has only made these competitors stronger. 2021 has created a number of obstacles for students to overcome and has elevated the already intense Forensics competition to an even higher level.  Technical difficulties, a virtual platform as well as a strong pool of competitors from both regions C and D made for an exciting and unpredictable day of competition on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

Through three full rounds of competition, a dozen of Eastside’s best and brightest students competed virtually against students from all over Regions C and D.  When results were announced, the team was ecstatic to learn that each competitor had placed in the top 3 of their categories and would be advancing to the State finals.

Individual rankings were as follows:   

Extemporaneous Speaking:

1st place - Colby Farmer

Humorous Duo:

1st place - Katie Levy and Cassidy Funk


2nd place - Jacob Sawyers

Original Oratory:

1st place - Tayler Banks


1st place - Cloey Bailey


1st place - Olivia Adkins   

3rd place - Kadence Mullis

Serious Dramatic Interpretation:

1st place - Hadassah White

Serious Duo:

1st Place - Sarah Burke and Malik Jallow


1st place - Kyleigh Harmon

On the strength of these incredible finishes, the Spartans captured the 2021 VHSL Class 1 Super Regions CD Title.

Coach Shane Burke said, “I am so proud of my team. We are State bound!  I am very happy for them all. They have worked so hard to achieve this.”    

Assistant Coach Heather Marchant added, “These students.have overcome a lot the past year. The pandemic has been hard for adults to cope with, I couldn’t imagine what they have felt. They haven’t let that stop them from working hard to do what the love. For some of them, this is their first year competing and for some it’s their fifth. Either way, each of them have truly earned their spot to compete at state this year. And as a coach, I couldn’t be more humbled and blessed to work with them.” .

Malik Jallow, competing in Serious Duo with his partner Sarah Burke, had this to say.   “I’m proud of everybody.   It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to do this, and to do it virtually at that.”   

Cassidy Funk, a competitor in humorous duo with her partner Katie Levy, added, “I am extremely proud of our team and I’m so happy to be part of it.”

Kyleigh Harmon, who competed in Storytelling, also commented, “This is my first year, but it’s been such a great experience even in the middle of a pandemic.   I’ve loved it so much and I’m definitely doing it again.”

Students from John I Burton also competed in the Regional tournament.  Shamiyeh Noel won in Humorous Interpretation.  Noah Elkins ranked second in Storytelling.   Elora Hutchinson ranked third in Serious Dramatic Interpretation.      Congratulations to the Raiders on a successful day as well.

The top three finishers from each category will advance to the State Championship round, where the Spartans look to reclaim the State title after the Championship round was cancelled in 2020.

Provided by Brandon White