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"Gordon County Schools' Got Talent"-  At least that is what was illustrated during recent Literary Competitionh.  Both Gordon Central and Sonoraville High Schools produced state champions in both AA and AAA Literary Competition. 

On Satruday, March 18, the Gordon Central Literary team won the AA State Literary Team title. Before a crowd of supportive parents, students, alumni and friends, the GC Literary team did battle in nine of the twelve events; earning individual titles in Girls Trio, Boys Quartet, Humorous Dramatic Interpretation, and Duo Dramatic Interpretation. They also earned points in four other events by placing in the top four positions to earn 42 team points to Davidson Fine Arts High School's 40 points. 

"This is Gordon Central's third state team title in the last three years. We earned the AAA team title in 2015 and 2016. We knew moving to the AA division would bring new teams and we were unsure of the level of our new competitors." One interesting fact - Bremen won the AA team title last year. This year Gordon Central and Bremen swapped classifications. The result was both teams winning their new classification team title. 

 The Gordon Central results were as follows: 

*Girls Trio (Katie Nemechek, Elizabeth Dutch & Katelyn Jones) State AA Champions

*Boys Quartet (Sammy Tomasello, Matthew Sloan, Mason Dockrey & Brandon Bagley) State AA Champions

*Humorous Interpretation (Baylee Balliew) State AA Champion

*Duo Interpretation (Baylee Balliew & Ariel Brown) State AA Champions

*Dramatic Interpretation (Mason Dockrey) 3rd place 

*Girls Solo (Katelyn Jones) 1st Runner-up 

*Boys Solo (Ryan Morrell) 6th place 

*Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking (Sammy Tomasello) 1st Runner-up

*International Extemporaneous Speaking (Haven Hendrix) 4th place 

"It was a pretty remarkable day. Senior Baylee Balliew won two individual titles (Humorous and Duo). Baylee was the AAA Humorous Champion from 2016 so we knew she was capable of delivering."

With the announcement of Boys Quartet, Gordon Central pulled within 2 points of Davidson Fine Arts, but they were still leading. The result of the Humorous title tied the two teams. "Baylee and Ariel's win in Duo pushed us past them. It was an incredible finish." 

Literary is a Georgia High School Association event consisting of music, drama, speaking and writing categories. Meets are held in the eight regions of each state classification. The annual state event sets the eight region winners of their respective classifications against each other in a one day contest. 

"I could not be more excited for these hard-working Warriors. These students dedicate themselves to excellence in everything they do and it has paid off richly this year. Many of them have earned state titles in both One Act and Literary this year. I know they are proud and I know all our coaches are, too." 

Dr. Kim Watters is the head coach for the GC Literary team and coaches the Trio and Quartet. Renee Hughes coaches the extemporaneous speakers. Richard Bristow coaches the drama events. Brian Hall coaches the writing events. Vicky Latimer of Belwood Elementary coaches soloist, Katelyn Jones and soloist, Ryan Morrell was coached by Dr. Salter of Reinhardt University. 

On the same evening in Warner Robbins, the Sonoraville High School Girls' Trio and Duo Oral Interpretation teams competed in the State Literary Competition in Warner Robins, after placing 1st in the Region 6 AAA competition.

The SHS Girls Trio team faced seven other schools at the state level, but rose to the top, placing 1st. They also made SHS history in being the first Literary event to earn a state championship. Savannah Hames, Madeline Fox and Katlyn Sexton are now the proud owners of gold medals.  In addition, Sonoraville High School's Duo Oral Interpretation team traveled to state competition for the first time. They faced eight other teams and placed 2nd in the state! Katie Hartel and Arisah Argueta are STATE RUNNERS UP, receiving silver medals.

"I am proud of the dedication and focus these teams possess. They have amazing character, ability, talent and creativity, which they have channeled to accomplish great things this year. The success of the Trio and Duo teams simply provides further proof of why it is great to be a Phoenix!" 

~Hannah Nelson, Director of Choral and Theatre Activities

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