Performing under pressure

Speech team ends season with three district finalists

Sophomore Clark Cogdill portrays the character George Cheever in “Jock Talk.” Cogdill competed in four meets this year. (Ginger Eikmeier)

While many know that winter sports wrapped up their seasons, speech also wrapped up their season with the district meet on Mar. 6 at Oakland Craig. Yutan’s speech team ended the day with one individual and two group events making it to finals.

One of these finalists was sophomore Clark Cogdill, who was in his first year of speech and competed in Humorous Prose with “Jock Talk.”

“In the finals was definitely my best round I ever performed,” Cogdill said. “I was really proud of myself there.”

Cogdill attributed much of his success to his preparation before districts.

“I knew I was going to perform very well because I practiced almost all night,” Cogdill said. “I did very well in practicing my speeches…before any meet, and so I had very high hopes for my district performance.”

However, group events such as an Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID) didn’t have the same advantage. Because an OID includes multiple people, scheduling practices where everyone could meet was a challenge, especially with other activities intervening. 

Senior Shaylynn Campbell, junior Bella Tederman and senior Laycee Josoff act in their OID of “Bridesmaids.” Josoff was the speech captain this year. (Libby Winn)

“We love that students are able to do a great variety of things,” head speech coach Alyssa Hansen said. “But it does make it more difficult when it’s time to…do a speech meet and we have all of these athletic events.”

Despite having few practices and only one regular-season meet, junior Bella Tederman was proud of her OID’s performance of “Bridesmaids.

“We performed the smoothest and best we ever have,” Tederman said. “I would say that says a lot about us being able to step up under pressure and just get out there and perform even with the low expectations and disadvantages.”

Yutan’s third finalist at districts was the “Anchorman” OID.

On speech night, Junior Ellie Lloyd and her OID perform “Anchorman.” This is Lloyd’s third year being in speech. (Ginger Eikmeier)

“I saw us improve and step out of our comfort zone,” junior Ellie Lloyd said. “The room we performed in was super full of people and…we got a lot of good laughs.”

Even though the team fell short of having any state qualifiers, Hansen still felt that they went “out on a high note” and hopes this motivates success for next year.

“I am looking forward to just continuing to climb up higher in those placements,” Hansen said. “If students get third at districts, they go to state, so obviously next year our goal is to make it to state and have multiple people qualify…and really make a name for ourselves in the speech community.”