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The Lantern

Filed under News, Showcase

Smart mouth kids

The Lantern reviews the speech team's season so far.

Sophomore, Ryan Schlichting, participates in warm ups with the team before a speech tournament.

Sophomore, Ryan Schlichting, participates in warm ups with the team before a speech tournament.

John Fogarty

John Fogarty

Sophomore, Ryan Schlichting, participates in warm ups with the team before a speech tournament.

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After months preparation, the Cannon Falls speech team finally participated in their first tournament of the season, which was held in Cannon Falls on Saturday, February 3rd. For some, this tournament represented the first time competing in a new category. For others it was their first time competing in general; however, a majority of the team was made up of returning veterans who were ready to dominate the competition. There were a number individuals who took home first place ribbons  including Zoe Jesh (Extemp Reading), Samuel Coyle (Novice Storytelling), Tristan Qualey (Novice Poetry), Grant Schlichting (Extemp Speaking) and Bryson Felton (Storytelling).

The following tournament was held on Saturday, February 10, at John Marshall. Zoe Jesh, an exempt reader who is in her third year of speech stated, “I am really looking forward to this season. I got off to a great start when I took first at the Cannon Falls tournament and I hope that I can ride that momentum throughout the rest of the season.” There were a multitude of other students who did well at the tournament, one of which was Ryan Schlichting, who received a third place award at the Cannon Falls tournament. He stated, “Grant (my brother) sucks, I’m gonna beat him next time.” The feeling is understandable considering the Cannon Falls tournament had a three way tie for first. “I’m excited about the competition and I’m ready to destroy my brother.”

Even though the team now has two competitions under their belts, many veterans are still reeling over the new ranking system. This new system, which was used in both Cannon Falls and John Marshall, combines Varsity and Novice competitors into rooms. The system is different from what has been used in the past, where varsity and novice were split into seperate rooms. Some kids do not like the new system, one of whom is Preston Parks, a tenth grader who participates in Discussion. “It only takes one rogue judge to screw up your rank.” His frustration is relatable as in both Cannon Falls and John Marshall, he took a two in a round of all novice competitors. “It’s really frustrating for me. I’m working just as hard as the rest of them, yet I’ve been reaping no rewards.”

Most recently, the team competed at the St. Anthony “You Lucky Dog” tournament. This is a big one for the speech participants as instead of trophies and medals, St. Anthony gives out little stuffed dogs. Sadly, the team did not have any event champions, but they had a mess of second place wins including those of Zoe Jesh (Extemp reading), Ryan Schlichting (Extemporaneous speaking), Molly Bowen (Great Speeches), Hannah Singewald (Poetry), and Bryson Felton (Storytelling). Overall, the team took home a third place win at the tournament and a slightly larger dog than those given out as individual awards. For the team that is used to taking home first, the third place award seemed to be a bit of a setback, however, the school missed second place by a mere two points.

Despite the setbacks given by the new ranking system, many on the team are hoping that their seasons will get better. “Once we get through the early bumps, the season will (hopefully) get much better for not just me, but everyone involved,” stated Parks. “Right now I just need to push through all the frustration, then I know I’ll be set.” There is an overall sense of optimism that surrounds the team and its members, many of who are ready to crush their competition whenever they get the chance.

Being the 2017 State Champs has put a lot of pressure on the team to perform well; however, the outstanding coaches and work ethic of the students should make the task much easier. So far the team is having a perfect season and they hope to continue that trend in Farmington. On a final note, Zoe Jesh offered a piece of advice for the new members: embrace the wall.

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