Speech team finalizes season at sectionals

Speech team places fourth at sectionals in dramatic duet acting


Photo by Raven Easterly

Senior Victoria Zulca rehearses her performance for sectionals.

Ian Wesselhoff, Multimedia Editor

The speech team’s season has concluded on a high note, as juniors Kemi Okoye and Jade Price placed fourth at sectionals in dramatic duet acting, and the team as a whole considers this year a successful one.
“My aim this year was to improve my ability to speak clearly and efficiently while also helping newer and veteran members to their goals,” Victoria Zulca, senior, said.
There are several veteran members, and due to their experience with the team, their role is slightly different.
“I have been a member of the team for four years and a captain for two years. My goal as a captain was to motivate and make the whole experience fun for the whole team. I wanted to help everyone become more confident with themselves and with everyone on the team,” Marija Gosheva, senior, said.
Just like any other competitive event, improvement is based around practice. However, to those outside of the team, it might not be clear on how speech practice would work.
“Practicing is a combination of both at home and school rehearsal. Usually there is a schedule dictating who will perform what day for which coach, in order to practice and gain feedback on your performance, on what you’re doing well or what you need to improve on,” Zulca said.
These practice sessions are all building toward the competitions, events that coach Samantha Kukuk, English teacher, describes as “long days, but worth it.”
“Competitions are extremely long. The day starts usually around 6 a.m. and may end anytime past 2 p.m. depending on the competition. Throughout the day, you have to be conscious of how you present yourself to be sure you stay professional and represent the school, but also have to be sure to stay awake to be able to perform with the emotions your piece demands,” Zulca said.
Despite the tiring aspect, the day remains enjoyable among the members of the team.
“The speech competitions are very fun,” Gosheva said. “The days are pretty long but we find ways to fill the time. We do homework, play games as a team, or even take a nap. It’s a pretty fun day.”
Usually, when someone devotes this much time to something, there has to be a reason, and it seems that speech team members have two in common.
“I love that the whole team is like a family. Everyone is very supportive of one another and is always willing to help. Personally, I love that it has given me confidence to not be afraid of public speaking and expressing my ideas. I have really enjoyed the past four years and I will definitely be back as a judge next year,” Gosheva said.
That family sentiment is echoed by several other members.
“With how often you see other teammates, you naturally begin to form a bond with everyone and it’s a genuine family. My other favorite part about speech is how much you can grow. I’ve seen members who’ve come in shy and left being some of the most confident people I know,” Zulca said.
Improvement and progression are the focal points with this team, all the way up to the coach.
“I love watching the growth from freshman to senior year. I believe this team has bonded and that they have made friends that they will be able to stay in contact with for a very long time,” Kukuk said.