As Todd County senior, Alan Mychal Boyd, readied to deliver not one, but two Oral Interpretation presentations at the state meet held in Harrisburg over the weekend. His coach, Bryan Adams, having heard each piece dozens of time during practices this fall, may have been the most nervous person in a room that was filled with a captive audience and three stone faced judges.
Adams, having spent the last three years mentoring Boyd, knew a switch was about to be flipped as Boyd transformed from a senior at Todd County high school to one of the best Oral Interpretation presenters in the state of South Dakota.
And Boyd didn’t disappoint, delivering two Superior performances, the gold medals of his respective categories, Non-Original Oratory and Poetry.
“When he goes to perform it’s like flipping on a switch,” Adams said. “He really steps into the roles of whatever piece he’s doing. He’s done some serious pieces in the past and whatever he’s doing he really steps into the role of the narrator.”
The two Superior rankings didn’t come by accident as Boyd selected his material during the summer months and practiced faithfully at school and at home.
“We practiced three times a week and he would go home and work on this at home,” Adams said. “Bob (father) heard him working on this over the weekends and he definitely put a lot of work into it.”
The Superior rankings were the result of a lot of work, but also, some disappointments along the way.
Boyd missed out on the Superior marks his junior year but ascended to the tops of a very competitive field.
“It was just satisfying to see that all that hard work paid off,” Boyd said.
Despite the pressure of the moment and the enormity of the situation, Boyd proved he’s one cool customer.
“He’s one of the kids that does good under pressure,” Boyd said. “When he practices it’s good but its nowhere near what its like in competition. When he performed at regions it was the best I’d ever seen, and at state, he still managed to get better.”