Speech Team Qualifies Seven for State

Ava Wells, Staff

For many students involved in the arts, speech season is very eventful. Members practice speeches for hours in preparation for the all day meets. From the late nights to the early mornings, the time put in pays off.

There were many ups and downs to this speech year. The beginning of the season started off with only virtual meets due to the ongoing pandemic. But by February, the students were able to begin competing in-person. Speech meets begin early in the morning. The competitors are required to practice 2-3 times a week and need to practice on their own apart from practices. Speech is a very individualized activity. If the students need more practice than the specialized times, they are responsible for finding time on their own. This can cause more challenges for the competitors to face. Alexis Gill and Ella Roach both said that one of the most challenging parts is memorizing the speech.  Along with the challenges, there are also many rewarding factors for the speech team. “Medaling and placing first at districts were probably the most rewarding parts about the speech season,” Alexis Gill said. After earning first place at the district competition, seven competitors qualified for state.

The state speech competition was held in Kearney on March 10th. Joseph Bakare qualified in poetry, Alexis Gill in entertainment, Amelia Thomas, Ella Roach, Justin Golus, Malachi Connel, and Aaron Sturtevent in OID (Oral Interpretation of Drama). The students competed with everything they had, but unfortunately none of them finaled. Ella Roach stated, “Although no one from Holdrege finaled, I felt we had a great meet and all performed to the best of our ability.” All the preparation and hard work pays off even though a state medal wasn’t received.

Making it to state speech isn’t the only accomplishment the students reached this season. “Growing as performers, speakers, and young adults is one of the biggest achievements the kids could experience,” Coach Tonya McCroden said. “Watching students win with class and lose with grace is amazing to watch,” she also stated. Each season more growth seems to occur among the speech individuals.

As soon as the season ends, plans and goals for the next season begin. Many different goals are put into place before the season begins. The students begin looking forward to when they can perform again. “I’m looking forward to having a complete in-person meet season and seeing what all of us can accomplish,” said Alexis Gill. McCroden added, “I look forward to watching all of our returning speakers as well as the novice speakers grow in talent!” The development of skill and work ethic is visible by the hard work and dedication each of the competitors puts in.

After the long season of diligent work, the speech students accomplished a lot. From the beginning of the season until end, the development of each individual was impressive.`