Shepard’s Rich Speech Team Tradition Continues


Lilly King , Staff Reporter

      This year, speech is hoping to compete at state.   Assistant coach Mary Ellen Fawk  sees a ton of potential.  So far they have been doing well at tournaments, specifically at Wheaton Warrenville South which is a very competitive contest and it  tends to be a good indicator of what to expect for this season.

      In addition to the varsity doing great, the novices are doing pretty well too.  The novices are made up of first year speech members.  

      Speech tournaments occur nearly every Saturday through February.  The first tournament this season was at the end of October. 

The commitment of speech members is difficult to overlook. During the Saturday tournaments, speeches start between 8:00 and 8:30.  The three judges make posts around 1:30 that contain the students names who are continuing on in the tournament.  

      Final rounds then begin at 2:0. Finally between 4:30 and 5:00 contestants are called upstage and rankings are identified – there are six places.  For everyone else scores are shared by coaches at the end of the day.

      During the tournaments speech participants can be in different events such as, dramatic duet acting, humorous duet acting, dramatic interpretation, humorous interpretation, informative speaking, impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, original oratory, original comedy, poetry, special occasion speaking, radio, and declamatory speaking.  

      Every tournament is a determining factor of how the team does in the end of the season.  Over time points from each tournament are accumulated and the top speech members form the regional team and then are placed into events(sometimes multiple) where they have the strongest potential of winning.

      Materials for the participants are made by the coaches.  The coaches are Fawk, Pat Hughes, Kenny Garner, Mr. Dunway, Mr. Roger, Anna Geravocota, and head coach Pam Peters ( who also runs speech at Independence Junior High).  These coaches find poems and fuse pieces around a specific theme. Materials are generally written by the coaches more than the speech members.

      Fawk, who has been a coach for 16 years. She previously was in speech in college and travelled all over the country. 

She listed a few members that are doing great this season; Aniyah Clemons, Lavontae Morrow, Max Szykowny, Meagan Ruger-Smith, Emily Jordan, Yelena Sinclair, Celestial Martinez, Will Singleton, Patty Worbel, Shea Fitzgerald, Haley Phm, Tyler Ludwig, and Jaylen Carter.