Speech team strives to achieve despite changes

Junior Matthew L. works on memorizing his humorous speech, “The Mustache.” This is Matthew’s third year competing in speech.

Maya P., Co-Editor

After claiming the class C1 State Speech Championship last year, the bar has been set high for the David City High School speech team. They proved themselves capable over the weekend at Adams Central by winning at least one medal in almost every event, but the rest of the season holds many changes to consider. The most prominent of which being the move from class C1 competition to class B.

Class assignments are based on student enrollment. The 32 largest schools in the state make up class A, with the next 48 creating class B. Since some class A schools have dropped the activity, DCHS moved up to class B to compete with the likes of Gothenberg, Gering, and Omaha Skutt, the latter having won state for the past three years.

“Class B seems to be a bit deeper in terms of talent,” speech coach Jarod Ockander said. “But if you are a strong speech competitor, it shouldn’t matter a great deal.”

Another change that the team faces is the loss of previous assistant coach, Bellwood 6th grade teacher Katie Rose. To fill her position, Ockander recently recruited Jessica Doerr, who is working on her Master’s in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to serve as the assistant speech coach. Doerr will assist on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Mondays, 2014 DCHS alumna Bailey Svoboda will help the team.

Despite the changes, the team has a lot of talent returning from last year. The speech team currently has 25 members, eight of them returning state competitors. One of these eight is junior Waleed R. who competes in Extemporaneous speaking.

“I enjoy [Extemporaneous] a lot because I like the news. I could talk about news forever,” Waleed said. “There are times when you get topics you don’t like, but you have to suck it up and just go with it.”

The returning qualifiers provide guidance for rookie members like sophomore Iris P. who is taking on an Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID) with fellow sophomore Destiny G. and senior Kylie S. and a Duet with Destiny this season.

“I feel pretty confident about my speech and I think that since I’m doing a duet with another person, I’m not as nervous as I would be doing it alone,” Iris said. “I guess I’m not fully focused on winning, but gaining more experience.”

With this combination of veterans and newcomers, the team hopes to win Conference, Districts, and compete for State, Ockander said.

“It should be a fun and challenging year. As long as the students remain hungry and committed, I think we should have a competitive season.”