Speech Team on the Path to State

By Megan Wolter & Andrew Lee

The Speech Team season officially started in early November, but many of the competitors have been working on their pieces since the start of school. There are two different categories with many different events that a competitor can choose to his/her preference. The first category  is Public Speaking, consisting of events such as Declamation Speaking (performing a speech written by a person in history), Special Occasion Speaking (writing and performing a speech taking a stance on an important issue), or Radio Speaking (cutting and Delivering a news broadcast).

Acting Events include Dramatic Interpretation (portraying a more serious and dramatic character), Humorous Duet Acting (two partners acting in a comedic eight minute skit), or Poetry (reading a series of related poems under nine minutes). For the team, each event can have four students, three of them being on Varsity and one being on Junior Varsity.

Speech students have to audition for speech coach Ryan Carlson or for assistant coach Elizabeth Carlson.  After the audition, each student is assigned to work with a Captain who works with them on perfecting their performance for competitions. All of the students also work with speech coaches from the University of Illinois or former Centennial Speech Alumni such as Katie Apperson and David Kessler.

Recently, some of the accomplishments of the team have been winning second place at Olympia, and third place at Bloomington, Charleston and Normal West. As individuals, many of the speechies have won their events. Some first place notable wins are, for Varsity, Ramy Ahmed in HI, Joshua Ferrer in ES, Derek Schneider and Jack Reeder in DDA, Derek Schneider in Prose and for Junior Varsity, Lindsay Vallance in Poetry, Rachel Stickels in SOS, and Tyler Burch in Info.

Many people do not know how many hours that these students put in and how much of their spare time they give up in order to compete.  “We will leave on Saturday mornings at five and then get back at seven or later,” commented Head Captain Jenny Ye.  “A lot of the students also stay late every day practicing their pieces and are very dedicated.” Students prepare for Speech by doing things such as working on enunciation, blocking scenes, and writing original material.

Visit here for more information on upcoming speech events and tournament results.