Grove High School sophomore Tyler Linn  took First Place honors in the 2008 Oklahoma American Legion High School Oratorical Contest on Monday, February 25, in Duncan, Oklahoma.

He is the son of Mark and Tammy Linn of Grove, and grandson of Janice and Bob Linn of Commerce and Linda Tappana of Grove and the late Vernon Tappana.

Linn will represent the Department (state) of Oklahoma at the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 4-6.

He will compete against 53 other orators, from freshman to seniors, representing American Legion Departments in the 50 states, District of Columbia, France, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

A total of $138,000 in scholarships to be awarded that weekend.

For his prepared oration Tyler spoke on the U.S. Constitution as the foundation of our country, using as a comparison a house which needs a sturdy foundation.

In addition to an 8-10 minute prepared oration, each contestant had to speak extemporaneously for three to five minutes on one of four assigned topics.

The assigned topics were selected from the Constitution or its Amendments and announced ahead of the contest, so each contestant could research the topics in advance. However, the contestants did not know on which of the four topics they would be called to speak until five minutes before time to speak.

Linn was awarded a $1000 scholarship from the Department of Oklahoma American Legion for his win in Duncan.

He had previously won the Grove contest and followed it with wins at the District and Eastern Oklahoma Sectional contests, for a total of $350 cash and a $50 Savings Bond.

He will also receive a $1500 scholarship from National for representing Oklahoma in the April contest, with more scholarship money awarded if he progresses past the first round at the National contest.

The top three National winners receive scholarships of $19,500, $17,500, and $15,500, respectively.  All scholarship monies can be used at any college in the United States.

Qualate-Pritchard American Legion Post 178 would like to express its appreciation to all of Grove’s teachers for the outstanding job they do with our youth.

The Post and Auxiliary Unit 178 have many programs which involve youth participation, such as American Legion Baseball, Boys State and Girls State, the Americanism Essay Contest, and this Oratorical Contest, plus the students provide much-needed assistance in putting out flags at the cemeteries over Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

In each of these areas, Post 178 receives outstanding support from the schools and many quality participants in each of the programs.

Anyone who would like information on any of these or other American Legion programs, may call Post 178 Commander Bill Largen at 786-7923 or Post 178 Children and Youth/Americanism Chairperson Debbie Gordon at 787-2213.