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The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

One activity fits all

Speech offers various opportunities for participants
Ginger Eikmeier
From left to right speech coach Alyssa Hansen directs seniors Maura Tichota, Connor Engel, Maycee Hays, Bella Tederman and Joey Benjamin. They are doing an OID based on the movie “Inside Out.”

When you think of a winter sport, what comes to mind? Is it girls or boys basketball, or perhaps wrestling? However, does “speech team” summon winter competition vibes?  While sometimes overlooked by the students of Yutan High School and other residents, the speech team offers participants the chance to compete with others in performance-based competitions while fostering confidence through improved public speaking skills.  Not only that, but like other team sports, speech team is a great way to connect with others. 

“Speech is a place where no matter what a kid is doing, they can come and feel like they’re part of the group and just gain some confidence in public speaking. Sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s about going to a meet—having the confidence to stand in front of other people, and even if you’re terrified, you still do and accomplish it,” said head speech coach Alyssa Hansen. 

Clark Cogdill practices his humorous prose. The speech that he’s working on is called “gotta get Brad back”.

When competing in speech, there are many events the students can choose from. They range from acting to more practical topics and everything in between, meaning that there is something for everyone.

“So there are ten NSAA events in speech. It’s kind of split into two main categories:  platform speech, almost like something you would do in a speech class, and then a section more on acting. And then you have some group events and some individual ones. Then ten events between the two categories, so there’s something for everyone,” said Hansen.

One student involved in a group event this year is senior Maycee Hays, who is competing in oral interpretation of drama with fellow seniors Maura Tichota, Bella Tederman, Joey Benjamin and Connor Engel.

“We are doing a sort of oral interpretation this year of the movie ‘Inside Out.’ I feel like this story fits our group. And so I think this one is honestly the best yet that I’ve had in all four years of speech, so I’m excited about our group this year,” said Hays.

Although Hays is excited about the group, she also has many personal goals beyond her events. 

“Some personal goals of mine are to have my lines and everything down. I also want to be a good leader this year because I was kind of nominated I guess as a speech captain this year. So I just want to use my leadership skills to help the team in any way I can,” said Hays.

Another student who is involved in speech but doing a completely different event is junior Clark Cogdill, who is competing in an individual acting event called humorous prose.

“I stand up in the classroom and just do a funny comedy. I do it because I enjoy making people laugh. I don’t care what people think, but I think it’s a lot of fun,” said Cogdill. 

Speech is a place where no matter what a kid is doing, they can come and feel like they’re part of the group

— Alyssa Hansen

Like many of the other participants, Cogdill is excited about the upcoming season and feels his script makes all the difference.

“The speech I chose is about two little kids who have a playdate, and one of them doesn’t want to be friends anymore. I chose it because I thought it would be a lot of fun to perform,” said Cogdill.

While Cogdill picked the event for the fun of performing, he still has goals for the season ahead. 

“As far as goals, the main goal for this year is to have at least one team member make it to state. It would be super fun, and I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve been to state,” said Cogdill.   

Qualifying for state takes a lot of practice, which is one of the challenges of the speech team since the students are in other activities. 

“I would say the team’s biggest challenge is finding time to practice. With other sports and activities, students may find it difficult to practice or end up feeling overwhelmed and we don’t want that,” said Hansen.

To combat this, students are now to sign up for practice times that work around their schedule.    

“Because so many people that are in speech are also in other activities, you can choose what time works for you to practice. For example, I practice after school on Wednesdays,” said Cogdill.

Despite the challenges with practice, the speech team members still very much enjoy the activity and encourage other students to give it a try.

“Speech is so much fun,” said Cogdill. “This is only my second year of doing it, but it is truly a blast, so do speech!” 


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About the Contributor
Millie Dieckman
Millie Dieckman, Junior writer
Millie Dieckman is a junior and in her first year of journalism.  She enjoys writing newspaper stories.  Outside journalism, Millie is involved in volleyball, basketball, and plans to do speech.
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