Concordia’s speech teem poses with the mugs they won in their individual events at the meet.
Photos by Morgan Consier
By Morgan Consier
While the first week of the semester may seem like the calm before the storm of homework and projects, Concordia’s speech team started their semester right away as they hosted the Sleet and Snow Swing tournament.
Members of Concordia’s speech team competed with speech teams from seven schools throughout the Midwest.
Head Speech Team Coach Joseph Davis believes the skills students practice in their participation on the team can help them after college as well.
“I think that forensics gives people some really important skills, for presentation skills for their future professions and things like that, but also it allows them to grow as individuals, both to gain the courage to advocate for something important but also to get out of their shell,” Davis said.
Freshman Marlaena Sucha said she uses skills she has learned from speech in her daily life as well as in competitions.
“The biggest thing I have learned from speech is to be confident in myself and my opinions but also be open to hearing what others think and are passionate about,” Sucha said.
While most speech events stem from practiced and memorized scripts and routines, senior Jallah Bolay enjoys the skills he has learned through participating in the impromptu events.
“Impromptu challenges me to deeply engage my critical mind, analyze a given topic, and present a profoundly structured message within a limited time space,” Bolay said.
The team has grown in recent years, with 35 members compared to its six members three years ago. Davis said the team is now the second largest speech team in the Nebraska and Kansas areas. The team represents both students who actively travel and compete in meets to qualify for nationals as well as those who simply want to participate and grow their communication skills.
Davis said the large number allows the team to work together in a variety of ways.
“It’s a very different dynamic,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of people, a lot of personalities. They all kind of find their role where they can best contribute to the overall team goals and we are all able to come together under that umbrella and just get after it.”
Dramatic Interpretation: Payton DeMers-Sahling 5th, Philomena Williams 3rd, Jacob Garrison CHAMPION
Duo: Katie Funk/Grace Koehn 1st
Extemporaneous: Will Helmer 4th, Malia Ebel 2nd
Impromptu: 6th Jallah Bolay, Malia Ebel 3rd
Persuasive: Taryn Thomas 2nd
Poetry: Lindsay Range 2nd
Program Oral Interpretation: Payton Demers-Sahling 6th, Grace Koehn 5th, Marlaena Sucha 4th, Philomena Williams 2nd
Prose: Alia Hurst 5th, Katie Funk 3rd, Tationa Trice CHAMPION
After Dinner Speaking: Malia Ebel 3rd
Dramatic Interpretation: Philomena Williams 3rd, Jacob Garrison CHAMPION (AFA Qualified)
Extemporaneous: Will Helmer 3rd, Malia Ebel CHAMPION
Impromptu: Tationa Trice 4th, Malia Ebel CHAMPION (AFA Qualified)
Poetry: Lindsay Range 3rd
Program Oral Interpretation: Payton Demers-Sahling 6th, Grace Koehn 5th, Marlaena Sucha 4th, Philomena William 2nd
Prose: Alia Hurst 3rd, Tationa Trice CHAMPION
Individual Sweeps: Malia Ebel 1st
Team Sweeps: 1st