Louder Than a Bomb Brings Home Championship Title

Melina Herrera

On April 25th, 2019 Omaha South High’s Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry team won the state championship bringing the trophy home for the first time in South’s history. 

Louder than a bomb beat Omaha Northwest, Duchesne Academy, Gothenburg and Skutt Catholic during finals at the Holland Preforming Center. 

“We’re thrilled! We knew we had a great team and great poets, but we’d never made it to finals before, and the higher up you get the harder it gets,” Carol McClellan said.  

McClellan teaches Literacy, Creative Writing, and ESL in addition to serving as the Louder Than A Bomb sponsor at South. She will be retiring at the end of this school year.  

The journey to state has ended the past several years at semi-finals for South’s LTAB squad. In order to make it to state, the team must win two preliminary bouts at UNO and the come out first at the semi-final bout held at Joslyn Art Museum.  

On stage during the state bout, South’s team was even more energized and emphatic in their performances than usual. 

“We could feel the momentum building, and by the time we go to the group poem round, they smoked it”, McClellan said.  

Ximena Herrera, a sophomore at South, has been in LTAB since her freshman year. She is very active at South as Dual Language student, having participated in several theatrical productions, Student Council, and participating in South spirit weeks. 

“I first started going to poetry slam after school in 7th grade, but before that I would listen to different poems and speeches and it was more about going to the competitions than winning”, Herrera said.  

OriLana Parks is a senior in her fourth and final year as a member of LTAB at South. Like Herrera, Parks has been involved in theatrical productions during her high school career. Her teammates have looked to her for leadership and inspiration during the LTAB season this year. 

“Winning felt overdue. So many years we’ve been getting to semi-finals and it ended there,” Parks said. “Now I feel so accomplished” 

The pay-off of winning has reverberated through LTAB team members and has energized them for next year. 

“You have all these people that have put in time and energy to talk to everyone and tell a story and the stories are eye opening,” Herrera said. “It takes a lot to go up there and tell your story, so I am proud of every person and every team for having the courage to do so.”