SHS Senior, J. J. Metschke and Molly Marroquin-Seventh Grader at St. John Lutheran School in Seward, were named Champions in the American Legion District 12 Oratorical Contest Senior and Junior Divisions on Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Seward Civic Center.
Molly Marroquin, is the daughter of Tina and Jon P Marroquin of Seward. She presented a prepared oration on the US Constitution and the Judicial System. The Junior Division is open to students in Grades 6-8 and their presentation must be on some aspect of the US Constitution. She attends St. John Lutheran School in Seward and is in the Seventh Grade. She was awarded a gold First Place District 12 Medal and will represent the Junior Division at the Regional Contest on Dec. 6th in Seward at 2:00 at the Civic Center.
SHS Senior, J. J. Metschke is the son of Amy and Jon Metschke of Seward. He was required to write, memorize and present an eight to ten minute speech on some aspect of the US Constitution. He presented the speech “America’s Pastime” and compared the US Constitution Amendment system to the game of baseball. He was also required to address one of four extemporaneous topics –and drew Amendment XXII and was required to speak on the amendment for three to five minutes.
Welcomes were presented by David Glantz of Lincoln-District 12 Commander, Bonnie Brewer-
Elmwood-Regional Commander, and Joe Ruzicka of Seward-Seward American Legion Post 33 Commander. Ken Meyer, with American Legion Post 33 of Seward served as the Sergeant of Arms and candidate escort. Judges for the contest were Cliff Lowell of Seward, Anna Downing of Ulysses and Greg Holloway of Bee. Riley Nuttleman of Seward and Jen Mill of Clay Center served as the timers. Clark Kolterman of Seward served as the contest emcee.
J.J. Metschke of Seward was awarded the American Legion Gold Oratorical Medal, a $100 scholarship and the “Thomas Bosmeniel Memorial” Chrystal Trophy-awarded to the Champion Speaker at the District 12 Oratorical Contest. The late Thomas Bosmeniel had been the District 12 American Legion Speech Contest Champion twice and represented District 12 and the Region at the State Level twice-placing Second Runner-up and First Runner-up in the State American Legion Speech Contest. The memorial award was presented by his mother, Anna Downing of Ulysses. He will represent District 12 at the Regional Contest in Seward, Dec. 6th at 2:00 pm at the Civic Center.
The contest was hosted by the Seward American Legion Post 33 at the Seward Civic Center in the Civic Center basement, following social protocol and required masks on all participants until they spoke, as well as the audience in attendance. The next contest is the American Legion Regional Contest also held at the Seward Civic Center on Sunday, December 6th, 2020 at 2:00 pm.
Cole Gray, Seward High Senior, was selected the November Youth Rotarian and honored at the recent Seward Rotary noon luncheon meeting at the Seward Civic Center on Wednesday, November 14th. He is the son of Rick and Jocelyn Gray of Seward. He was introduced, honored and presented with mementos from the Rotary Club.
Cole has enrolled and participated in numerous Advanced Placement classes-such as AP US History and AP European History. He is also a member of the Seward High School Academic Decathlon Program, participating on the SHS Academic Decathlon Team competition at the regional level in January. His computer skills involve Microsoft Word 2013 and 3-D Animation.
He is very involved in athletics at Seward High School-participating in Cross Country, Basketball and Track. In Cross Country, he has been awarded a Varsity Letter for the last two years-2019/2020. He was also a State Qualifier both in 2019 and 2020 as well! He was named the “New Comer of the Year” award for SHS Cross Country and the Cross Country Junior Varsity Central Conference Award winner. He has been active and participates in the SHS Basketball program as a guard and is a member of the SHS Track Team as well.
Cole is a member and a leader of the SHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the SHS FFA and the SHS Skills USA service programs/clubs at the high school. He has been very involved in a host of community activities on behalf of the various high school organizations he represents. He also has been very involved with the Seward American Legion Summer Baseball program for many years.
He has long been involved in the Jr. Jays Mentoring program and was selected to be part of the 2019 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA Program).
Cole is a member of the Rock Lutheran Church-serving as a voice of youth for their congregation and a faithful member of the church’s youth program-the Godparent Program.
In the area of “Service Above Self,” he first attended the Summer Horizons program for six years and has continued to volunteer for the program since 7th grade. He has volunteered for the Seward Youth Community Club (SYCC), along with the Rock Lutheran Church in Seward and their various activities in the community. He is also a longtime volunteer in the Cross Country and Track Camps, as Cross Country Registration.
He has been employed by Sloup-Thorell Detasseling since 2015, working in the fields every summer.
Cole plans to attend college but is undecided as to where and wants to study in the area of history in the area of eduction K-12, eventually hoping to have a career as a high school history teacher.
He will be honored again at the SHS Honors Night in May. He will receive a Rotary Club Book Scholarship and is a finalist for the Youth Rotarian of the Year and the Rotary Scholarship.
The Seward Rotary Club selects one Youth Rotarian a month and applications can be found with the SHS Counselors.