Speech team starts new season

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Photo by Keira Jelinek

Speech team holds weekly meetings on Mondays. This meeting they discussed beginning of season and upcoming tournament.

Keira Jelinek, Social Media Editor

Speech team is returning back almost twice the usual size for their first in person season since COVID-19. The team consists of over 55 members. The team is led by coaches Joe Kalka, Laura Hammond, Granger Taft and Claire Henning.

Students on the speech team join for a variety of reasons. Some are looking to improve their public speaking skills. Other students just want somewhere that they can express their opinions.

“I’m hoping to become a quick writer and get better at public speaking and speaking in front of a group of people,” junior Evan Adams said.

Speech is the largest competitive extracurricular activity in the country amongst non-sports. What makes speech so enticing to students is the ability to express their thoughts and opinions.

“Two years ago we implemented a lot of changes, and we were able to see those through last year being that the season two years ago got shortened because of COVID,” Kalka explained.

Last year was the most successful season they have had in team history. The team won their section and conference tournaments for the first time in school history. The success was possible specifically by the coaches’ and the students’ hard work, as well as the teams new approach to the way they do things.

So many students are wanting their voice to be heard. I think that this generation has so much to say and is one of the most articulate generations in American History. Speech gives students an opportunity to express themselves,”

— Kalka

“We had two students make the final round at state and two students qualified to nationals,” Kalka said.

Junior captain Ava Roots has been on the speech team since freshman year. She has watched it grow from a smaller team into the group they have today. She believes the team has a “real opportunity to challenge some of the larger speech schools in our circuit this year.”

This year’s team is different from teams in previous years not only due to its size, but also its members social diversity.

Kalka said the coaches are “pulling from a wider variety of students in the school,” this diversity brings in a wide assortment of topics.

Speech team is about giving students an environment to openly share what they are passionate about in a competitive setting. The students have the ability to work with other students and teachers to perfect their writing.

Members choose from 13 categories and for some of them they will need to pick a topic. Junior Evan Adams is doing an informative speech on refereeing.

“My speech topic is refereeing. I chose it because it’s a big issue right now. There are not enough to run games,” Adams said.

“Speech teaches you how to speak to the issues that are important to you which is a skill that goes beyond any one tournament, club, or class as a skill that is important to most aspects of life in after high school,” Roots explained.