Old Colony students sing, act, dance for chance at 'Mr. Cougar' title

By Zachary McMahon | May 12, 2018
Courtesy of: Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School The seven contestants in the 2018 edition of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School's "Mr. Cougar" competition.

Rochester — President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently brought their dialog to Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Seniors Cameron Nataly, Jasper Tan and Kyle Sylvia impersonated Trump, Kim Jong-un and a moderator during a "worldly debate" as part of Old Colony's annual "Mr. Cougar" competition.

The competition, now in its 14th year, is a friendly competition for senior boys, which runs in the style of a typical glamour pageant. Hosted this year by athletics coaches Matt Trahan and Brandon Mendez, the seven competitors introduced themselves, performed in the talent competition of the event and answered onstage questions. The highest-scoring student would take home the title of "Mr. Cougar."

The seven competitors were Nataly, Sylvia, Tan, Lucas Ferreira, Evan Capozzi, Robert Bishop and Ronnie Frates. Five judges scored them on their introductions, talent and question answers. The judges were Old Colony Superintendent Aaron Polansky, Principal Karen Guenette, graphics teacher Kathy Peterson, 2013 Mr. Cougar winner John Pina and Steve Gonsalves.

Aside from representing Trump and North Korea's leader, Bishop and Frates performed a choreographed dance.

Capozzi performed solo, playing a Stratocaster guitar. He sang "One More Cup of Coffee," inspired by Jack White of the White Stripes and originally sung by Bob Dylan.

Lucas Ferreira also performed solo, launching his own comedy skit onstage.

As the show began to wind down, all of the contestants had to answer a question: What was their favorite memory at Old Colony?

Tan's answer in particular stood out to the judges. Some of his best memories, he said, included performing music at school. "Music," he said, "brings everyone together."

Tan also discussed how all people are similar in nature, and that people should be treated fairly regardless of appearance.

The answer stood out enough (perhaps alongside his Kim Jong-un impersonation) to net Tan the overall prize—he was named Mr. Cougar of 2018.

Polansky professed himself impressed with the Mr. Cougar contestants' ability to speak in public.

"Speaking in public makes people nervous very often, especially at the high school level," he said. "This was not just speaking to a classroom full of people, this was speaking to a larger crowd which would make a lot of people nervous...these seniors conquered their fear of speaking in front of people."

Zachary McMahon is a sophomore student at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School.

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