Speech sends 14 groups to State

By: Sarah Stortz

Amongst Union High School’s gym filled with hundreds of students coming from all over the state, one could hear noises ranging from choral readings to musical numbers to comedic improvisations. Such chaos and energy could only mean that the Iowa High School Speech Association’s district contest was taking place.

Last Saturday, Jan. 24, the CFHS speech team boarded a bus early in the morning to head to La Porte City so they could showcase all of their hard work that they’ve prepared for about two months. The school’s speech team sent 17 groups to contest with the goal for each group to receive a Division I rating from the judges in order to advance to State.

The groups that made it to State include “Spring Awakening” – musical theater, “Legally Blonde” – musical theater, “KGHD” – radio, “Peng” – short film, “Pay It Forward” – group mime, “Price of Freedom” – group mime, “Kelly” – group improv, “Norby” – group improv, “Hettle” group improv, “10,000 Cigarettes” – ensemble acting, “Scary Questions” – ensemble acting, “Oreos and Noserings” – ensemble acting, “Lund” – TV news and “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” – readers theater.

Assistant speech coach Alex O’Connell has helped coach speech teams for two years, describing it as “one of the best experiences that a student can have in high school.”

The groups that he led this year include three group improvs, three group mimes and two ensemble acting groups. Practices go for his groups begin around last November and rehearse for 45 minutes to an hour. They focus working on specifically is blocking, movement, articulation, emotion and acting.

“It’s kind of a combination of everything, but they’re really light-hearted,” O’Connell said. “They’re a lot of fun, and they have a lot of good laughs.”

Senior Emma Reddington has been involved in speech teams since her freshman year, and this year she’s involved in two groups: readers theater, a group where everybody carries a script while they act out a short play, and group mime, where the group can’t talk and can only perform in motion.

Reddington said that out of the two, she likes group mime the most. “I like how you can show so many emotions without using words.” What Reddington enjoys the most about speech team overall is working with her teammates. “I feel like we all become friends when we work together, and we just have a good time,” she said.

On Feb. 7, the groups will head to Decorah and compete once again at State. Their goal this time will be trying to make it to All-State.

Readers Theater: Bekah Bass, Emily Bruss, Sydney Coloff, Emily Fishel, Taya Herum,  Val Komen, Olivia Mickey, Emma Redington, Mallorie Sckerl, Katarina Walther, Emily Wikner

*Musical Theater: “Legally Blonde” – Reggie Baker, Sylvia Brown, Gabbie Holtzman, Abbie Lund 

*Musical Theater: “Spring Awakening” – Meron Abebe, Joel Bruss, Joel Ochoa, Mallorie Sckerl, Sydney See

Musical Theater: “Matilda” – Aastha Chandra, Julia Corbett, Mary Lawson, Katelyn Robinson, Clare Rolinger

*Group Improv: “Kelly” –  Cameron Kelly, Daniel McVicker, Sarah Stortz

*Group Improv: “Norby” – Gigi Norby, Katerina Walther, Noah Wolf

*Group Improv: “Hettle” – Katia Haugstad, Arlo Hettle, Elise Leasure, Emily McVicker

*Group Mime: “Pay It Forward” – Ellie Haan, Meghan Kern, Annabel Leasure, Sydney See, Tristan Snell

Group Mime: “Game Day” – Meron Abebe, Alyssa Dekutoski, Miranda MacGillivray, Andrew McVicker

*Group Mime: “Price of Freedom”  – Alexa Balong, Tori King, Katie Klaver, Emma Redington

*Radio: “KGHD” – Reggie Baker, Sunny Bock, Sammy Glaspie, Celeste Ki, Tori King, Mary Lawson, Josh Peterson

*TV News: “Lund” – Bekah Bass, Cassidy Christopher, Ellie Haan, Taya Herum, Abbie Lund, Olivia Mickey, Alex Miller, Linda Peng

Short Film: “Peterson” – Sunny Bock, Alyssa Dekutoski, Arlo Hettle, Brandie Kinman, Josh Peterson, Carolina Villavicencio

*Short Film: “Peng” – Aastha Chandra, Miranda MacGillivray, Linda Peng

*Ensemble: “Scary Question” – Alex Escalada, Emily Wikner

*Ensemble: “10,000 Cigarettes” – Emily Bruss, Julia Corbett, Samantha Hanson, Jessica Huffman, Katie Klaver

*Ensemble: “Oreos and Noserings” – Sylvia Brown, Cam McReynolds, Clare Rolinger, Sarah Stortz

* – Denotes groups that advance to State on Feb. 7 in Decorah

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