Speech: More Than an Activity
If you go to a speech meet, you only get to see a particular participant for ten minutes or less. What you don’t see is what led up to those ten minutes. You don’t see the months of practice, the 4 a.m. alarms every Saturday, the constant nerves before every performance, and the criticism from multiple judges each meet. You don’t see all the disappointment from being not quite good enough to medal on a particular day. You don’t see the strength it takes to persevere and keep working through losses.
The students who participate in speech are learning skills that will last them a lifetime.
Behind every first place medal is a student who had to work through criticism, fear, and intimidation. Speech students often don’t get the hype that athletes do, as the media isn’t there, but that doesn’t make their activity any less important. Speech teaches students how to act professionally, how to lose with grace, how to win with humility, and how to effectively communicate with an audience. Everything learned in speech is usable throughout life. Learning to communicate with others and learning how to act professionally is going to take these students far, especially with their careers. They learn to work through difficult circumstances, to use criticism to their advantage, and to be reliant on God through it all. These students work so hard, and they love what they do.
The Eagle Speech Team students are constantly encouraging each other and pushing each other to do better. These participants develop relationships that will last forever, not only with each other but also with the coaches. Nebraska Christian’s speech coaches are incredibly dedicated, and that’s why these students have the desire to work so hard. Coaches Charissa Smith (’94), Becky Ritta (’99), Ruth Ferris, and Shannon Rodehorst (’10) are so willing to work and help these students improve. They spend endless nights working around their own busy schedules to help the team improve even more.
Also worth recognizing are the international speech students. These students have a strong language barrier to overcome in addition to the normal speech nerves. They have to work twice as hard to be able to communicate effectively. These students not only overcome this hurdle, but they constantly compete well, often placing at meets. The Nebraska Christian Speech Team relies on these students for points for the team standings, and they consistently perform to high expectations. In fact, they recently helped lead the novice team to a 2nd place finish at the Loup City meet, and John Tran, Alicia Kim, and Grace Wu all placed at the Goldenrod Conference meet. This year’s international speech students include John Tran (persuasive), William Le (humorous prose), Skyler Qu (duet), Isabella Yang (duet), Grace Wu (duet), Alicia Kim (duet and OID), Trang Doan (duet), and Chau Nguyen (duet).
While the team has been competing for the last nine weeks, the most important portion of the season from a competitive standpoint is yet to come. District speech is March 18 at Minden High School, and anyone who places in the top three at districts will move on to State on March 27 at UNK. Please keep the students and coaches in your prayers as they prepare for these competitions.
To see the speech team in action, come support them at the Speech Showcase at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in the high school library.
Pictured above: Row 1: John Tran. Row 2: Cole Ruybalid, Skyler Qu, Chau Nguyen, Trang Doan, Grace Wu, Wendy Bornmann. Row 3: William Le, Isabella Yang, Jessica Hilderbrand, Alicia Kim, Marilla Flynn, Morgan Schulze, Madi Fuehrer. Row 4: Hannah Ritta, Katie Nyberg, Taylor Van Pelt, Brit Ritta, Chris Hilderbrand, Christina Bailey, MaKenna Loy.