Sam Stone, a senior at Monte Vista high School, won the state competition Sunday in the 73rd annual American Legion Oratorical Contest and will now represent California at the national competition.
"This is the first state champion we've ever had out of our post in Danville," said Ron Roe, contest coordinator for American Legion Post 246, "and of course who knows what might develop when he goes to the national finals."
Stone represented American Legion Post 246 of Danville with his prepared oration, "The Constitution and Privacy in the Modern World." He competed against five other contestants, each representing a specific geographical area of the state.
It was Stone's fourth victory in as many contests, having won at the post, district, area and finally state levels on Sunday, held in Modesto.
Stone will compete in the national contest in Indianapolis, Ind., being held April 9-11. Nationals include contestants from each of the 50 states, as well as from Washington, D.C., Peurto Rico and Guam.
Each contestant and chaperone receive an all-expenses paid trip to the contest site, as well as $1,500 for the first round of competition. Those that are successful and move to the second round will receive another $1,500. The top three winners are awarded $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 in scholarship money.
The format of the contest remains the same at all levels, with each contestant giving an eight-10 minute prepared oration on the Constitution, followed by a three-five minute speech that is an assigned topic dealing with a specific amendment, article, clause or statute.