2016 American Legion National Oratorical Contest winner Benjamin Crosby of Washington. Photo by Clay Lomneth/The American Legion

2017 National Oratorical Contest field set

The field is set for The American Legion's 2017 National Oratorical Contest, where 53 high school orators will speak on the U.S. Constitution and compete for a top-three finish to earn $48,000 in scholarships.

The students won their respective post, district and department-level Oratorical Contest to earn a spot in the national contest, which will be held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West April 22-23. See the list of contestants here, which includes 11 returning candidates from Michigan, Rhode Island, West Virginia, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Colorado, Vermont, Oregon, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

The contest will begin April 22 with the young orators competing in the quarterfinals; the top nine contestants from those will advance to the semifinals. During both sessions, the contestants will present a rehearsed eight- to 10-minute oration on an aspect of the Constitution in front of judges, as well as a three- to five-minute speech on an assigned topic discourse — a phase of the Constitution selected from its Articles and Sections.

The top three semifinal contestants will advance to the national finals on April 23 at 10 a.m. (EDT). The championship finals will be live streamed the Legion's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/americanlegionhq.