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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Speech team improves in numbers, success

For some Yutan students, the winter season was filled with memorizing and practicing scripts and lines countless times. Smaller than most teams but just as talented is the Yutan speech team.

Seniors Haley Kube and Reagan Wilson hold up their pinkies to toast to an accomplishment. Kube and Wilson earned third place at districts, which took place at David City. (Anna Rupp)

Just like the sports teams, the speech team looked forward to districts at the end of their season for a chance of going to state. The highlight of the district meet this year was having the duet of seniors Reagan Wilson and Haley Kube place third, qualifying for state.

“It was very much a surreal experience because we had never beaten some of the groups that we went up against,” Kube said. “Being able to qualify was just very surprising and just very rewarding.”

Wilson and Kube’s successful duet is called “Making Toasts,” which tells the story of two best friends going through many ups and downs starting from childhood all the way to adulthood. 

“We really had to be on our A game to get to where we wanted to be. And I think that’s what makes the win like this, to qualify for state, that much better. Knowing that we didn’t get there because our competition wasn’t good, every single duet was really good. It was hard work that me and Kube put in [that] really helped us be above the other groups,” Wilson said.  

However this achievement isn’t only thrilling to Kube and Wilson but also for the whole team since the Yutan speech team hasn’t been able to go to state since 2020.

“Districts was successful this year because we haven’t had a state qualifier in a long time. And so it definitely was a success. We had a lot of people place and medal, which was very exciting,” Hansen said. “I’m very excited that the group that did (qualify) is two wonderful seniors. So, you know, going out with a bang their senior year was really exciting.”  

Another upperclassmen who ended the season strong was junior Clark Cogdill, who placed fourth at districts with his humorous prose called “Gotta Get Brad Back” and was happy with not only his performance but the team results. 

“It was really cool to see our coaches happy about that (placing in finals) because usually our speech team hasn’t really been competitive in the past two years or so. But this year, we definitely stepped up our game. And yeah, it was a lot of fun. The results were great to hear as everyone tried their best in the end, and we did well,” Cogdill said.

Junior Clark Cogdill performs his humorous prose at speech night. During speech night, many different Yutan competitors put on a show for other Yutan teachers, students and family members. (Anna Rupp)

Besides having more medalists this season, the speech team also had many new members, such as sophomore Maddie Bailiff, who placed seventh at districts with her persuasive speech.

“Everyone on our team did really well all around, which is super cool to see especially from the people like me who have never done speech before. I’m glad I tried speech this year and didn’t wait until later. It was really fun and honestly, it’s all about having a good time and pushing yourself to try something a little different,” Bailiff said.

Other first-time and returning speech team members who medaled at districts were seniors Skylar Crews, Andi Nelson, Reagan Wilson, Haley Kube and sophomore Lexi Bisaillon with their Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID) placing fifth at districts. Seniors Maura Tichota, Bella Tederman, Joey Benjamin, Maycee Hays and Connor Engel placed fourth in their OID. Sophomore Olivia Chapman placed sixth in entertainment.

“Being a finalist was very exciting because I put in so much hard work and it was very rewarding. It makes me hungry for next year and hopefully qualify for state speech next year,” Chapman said.

 Speech coach Alyssa Hansen feels part of this season’s success was due to the students taking feedback to make their events better.

“I felt like this year we were very good at looking how we placed and responding to that with hard work and focus. When we didn’t break (to finals), it wasn’t like ‘oh, well I’m just gonna quit.’ It was (that) kids were super motivated to take the feedback they got and really work towards becoming better,” Hansen said. 

Even though many of the finalists didn’t qualify for state, there were still huge accomplishments among the Yutan speech team this year. 

“I am extremely proud of every single kid on our team. Because like I said, they’ve all—every single person—has gotten better and every single person has improved and for the first time in a long time,” Hansen said. “I think once you get started in speech, you stop limiting yourself and you start thinking about well, what can I accomplish next?”

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About the Contributors
Maddie Bailiff
Maddie Bailiff, Sophomore writer
Maddie Bailiff is a sophomore and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing, being with family and spending time with friends.  Her favorite part of Journalism is taking pictures and writing stories. 
Anna Rupp
Anna Rupp, Sophomore writer
Anna Rupp is a sophomore and in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys photography. Outside journalism, Anna is involved in wrestling and band.
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