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Despite rocky starts, students look forward to the rest of speech season

Despite rocky starts, students look forward to the rest of speech season

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There is only one high school activity that can bring an abridged version of America’s history, a race to $2 million and a redneck truck stop all into the same room — speech season has begun.

Gering hosted the first speech meet of the season on Saturday, and students from seven different schools competed in novice and varsity events, getting their first taste of competition. With it being the first meet this year, students said it often comes with a few hiccups.

“The first meet is always a little rocky for everybody,” Gering senior Autumn Elsen said. “We’re still trying to get a feel of our new pieces and everything. So it’s a lot of overtimes, a lot of stumbles on words, but we are getting through it.”

For some students, it was their first meet ever. Mitchell sophomore Kiera Stauffer said this was her first year in speech after transferring from Morrill to Mitchell.

“I have a few friends here and I was just put in OID (Oral Interpretation of Drama) with them, and then … Mr. (Matt) Chrisman, he talked me into doing serious (prose) as well,” she said. “…I feel like I did good in the first round; my second round was a little bit bumpy.”

Despite the first meet not being quite as polished, some students said it comes with the territory. The important part was supporting one another.

“Even if you do end up doing bad in the event, they always are there to comfort you, and it’s really nice to have that fallback,” Gering senior Abby Brady said.

Elsen said, “No matter what you do in the round, no matter if you forget a piece of your script or you totally blank, your team is always going to be there to cheer you on. Some people go watch your rounds and it’s so nice to see a familiar face in the room with you.”

That team feeling is one of the best parts about speech, they said.

“Our team, it’s a family atmosphere,” Gering senior Sam Martinez said. “At some points we all hate each other but at the end we’re with each other to the end.”

With their first meet under their belts, these students are looking forward to new notes, more practice and continuing to get better throughout the season. For Gering seniors Elsen, Brady and Martinez, they look forward to making the most of their last season.

“As a team I really do hope we do well as a whole, … we do good at districts, and all of us can make as much as we can to perform on to state,” Brady said.

Martinez said, “(My goal is) to succeed in every round that I have, give out 100% every single time.”

Elsen said, “There’s a lot riding on this season as my last season that I want to make the most of it.”

For Stauffer and teammate Lillian Golden, they are both looking forward to improving and seeing where the season will take them.

I’m really excited to see like, how good we do,” Golden, a junior at Mitchell, said. “…I just hope just this season goes good, (and) everyone gets what they want.”

Stauffer said, “I feel like I have a good start. And I’m very excited for this new opportunity, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”


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Olivia Wieseler is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9051 or by emailing

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