Speech team flexible to change

The team adapts to online meets and inexperience to bring the show to life

Senior Kaden Hufstedler performs his part while his OID teammates wait to enter the scene (Courtesy photo)

Getting half of the season cancelled last year and having many restrictions this year has made the speech team “ready to compete” with all they have.  The 2020-2021 speech team, coached by English teacher Alyssa Hansen, has had to become flexible due to the changes.

The team has had to move their meets online. The only meet that was in person this year was a competition at Louisville.

We have the option for a lot more online meets—either recorded or on Zoom. Students will wear masks up until the second they are performing,” Hansen said.

Last year, after the majority of the season was canceled, some of the seniors wanted to “get one last shot” in competitions this year, even with the restrictions.                                                                             

“Everyone always talks about senior year being the pinnacle of your performance, and I’m determined to make that a reality,” senior Kaden Hufstedler said. “Of course, it’s also going to be awesome to see the interest that the underclassmen have in speech.”

With new underclassmen coming in and having veterans on the team, Hansen thinks they have high potential to qualify for state.

“We had a lot of positives going into districts (last year), and I think we had a lot of potential to go far and possibly qualify for state in a few events. I’m excited to get to compete at districts and make it to state hopefully (this year)!” Hansen said.

Coach Alyssa Hanson gives junior Mia Dyer some pointers on her performance (Courtesy photo)

Many veterans on the team have developed skills from Speech that are useful for everyday life rather than just during competitions or state. 

“Speech can really be helpful with personal accountability, as speech is an event where it’s immediately obvious who practices and doesn’t practice,” junior Caelin Wingender said. “I know personally from my freshman year that I didn’t practice at all and I was terrible, whereas last year I practiced daily and did very well.”

Over the years, Hansen has coached many teams, and this year students have done well being attentive and using Hansen’s input to their advantage.

“I think the kids have done a great job of taking advice and feedback this year,” Hansen said. “Speech is a team effort, even in the individual events. We work together to create something magical.”