HomeMedford NewsShawnee seniors line up for coveted Mr. Shawnee title

Shawnee seniors line up for coveted Mr. Shawnee title

12 hopefuls will showcase their talents for the crowd in a competition to see who is Mr. Shawnee.

Contestants from Shawnee High School’s 2019 Mr. Shawnee competition (Christian Hochenberger/ Special to The Sun).

A crown and title that tells all of Shawnee High School which male senior has the best talent, answer and overall charisma is up for grabs once more.

Margaret Fanourgakis, coordinator of the lighthearted Mr. Shawnee competition, said 12 seniors will vie for the title on March 12 in the Shawnee High School auditorium.

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We are raising money for the student council state charity, which is the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation,” Fanourgakis explained. “It’s similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation that helps families with housing while they are going through treatment.

Tickets are $5, cash only, for all attendees. The event starts at 7 p.m. and cash donations will be accepted for the foundation.

Final selections were made on Feb. 28. Fanourgakis added the talent are not seen until dress rehearsal. If a presentation is deemed not school appropriate, mandatory changes are made.

Previous winners we’ve had (were) kids who are really talented and they do real talent where they sing and dance, play instruments,” she mentioned. “Last year, we had a magician who wowed everyone with his magic acts.

One Mr. Shawnee contestant last year waxed his leg hair off on stage.

Everything has come to my mind,” Dom Frigiola, a Mr. Shawnee hopeful, said when describing his talent. “It is not something I’ve been doing for a long time. With what Miss (Fanourgakis) said with the funnier acts, the kid who waxed his legs, he obviously doesn’t practice waxing his legs.

“Something along the lines of that, but not that!

Four contestants selected at random for an interview with The Sun were inspired to enter the competition after seeing past shows. Volunteering for the event has helped each to become the person they aspire to be and to show other layers of their lives.

I’m generally more of a quiet kid, and when I get up to do my talent, it will shock people and it isn’t my true self, but it shows my other colors and my personality that not everyone sees besides my friends,” Sean McMennamin said.

I don’t really go on stage a lot; it is something outside of my comfort zone,” Jack Artist admitted. “Especially the fishbowl thing where you’re answering random questions.

Fourteen of the 15 finalists have all been subjected to taunts by Anthony Abbott, who described his strategy as a psychological game to psyche everyone out, or in his words, “Make sure they know … I’m coming.”

A loss is not in Abbott’s plan, but the other hopefuls said they look forward to devising creative ways to represent the 12 months of the year, with each of the dozen hopefuls assigned to represent a different month.

All the contestants agreed Mr. Shawnee is the guy who expresses the best talent, makes the night fun for all and can command the crowd.

There are nine categories the boys can win, one being the audience favorite, which is usually a different person than the (overall) winner,” Fanourgakis stated.

“The audience is going for the laughs, whereas the judges are looking at thought and creativity.

Outside of the competition, the contestants are members of Shawnee clubs focused on giving back to the community, such as Lifting Up Camden’s Youth (LUCY). They also participate in school charity events such as volleyball, dodgeball and other sport tournaments.

Showing school spirit at Shawnee is often described as, “Can’t hide that Renegade pride,” and Fanourgakis said she has seen all of the Mr. Shawnee competitors amp up their teams and crowds.

They all bring energy,” she noted. “They’re here and want to be involved in the school. Most of the contestants are very involved.

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