Speech team takes on Covid-19

Dakota Roman, Journalist

Her nerves were wracking and her palms were shaking at her sides as she stepped in front of the crowd. She inhaled deeply, the air filling her lungs with confidence. Exhale. Then she began to speak.

Public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world, but not for Speech Team members Corinne Francis, Alexis Johnson and Adriana Vercolio. The Speech Team finished this year’s season in the middle of February. Coach Steven Johnston said, “All three had successful seasons.”

All of the Speech Team members should be very proud of themselves, especially having to compete through Zoom calls and practice through Teams. At the State Tournament, the last competition of the season, junior Corrine Francis placed eighteenth in Original Oratory; an original oratory is a piece written by the speaker to persuade an audience on an important issue. Francis was the only member to make it to the State Tournament.

Naturally, Francis was not the only successful team member. The other members did a splendid job as well. Junior Alexis Johnson said, “I placed second or third in my events during meets and I placed sixth at sectionals.” Johnson won sixth place in her final competition of the season in Prose Reading. Beforehand, she placed third in Prose at the regional competition at Dunlap High School.

The last member, who is also the youngest Speech team member, pulled through once more in her second year of Speech team. Sophomore Adriana Vercolio said, “The highest rank I placed was second and the lowest was sixth.” In fact, she placed second in Radio Speaking and second in Special Occasion Speaking in the regional competition.

Furthermore, we should all be proud of our Speech Team members because getting out there and speaking is hard enough. Their performances were impressive considering the circumstances involving Coronavirus and the natural fear of public speaking.