Speech growth leads to success at state

Nic Baggetto, Editor-in-Chief

In a swirl of awards and commendation, the speech season came to a close with multiple Elk Grove students competing at state. Several students placed state as well. Among the competitors were seniors Megan Manoj, Mary Daniels, Emily Franke and junior Claire Glennon.

Daniels, who competed in Humorous Interpretation, placed 6th at state, while Manoj placed 3rd in Informative Speaking and won 1st place in Oratorical Declamation. Additionally, Franke competed in Prose, and Glennon competed in Dramatic Interpretation.

This was the second time that Manoj has competed at state, and she claimed that the reason this year stands out to her is because of the improvement and success of the team overall.

“Competing in state final rounds and performing my piece for everyone was amazing,” Manoj said. “But the growth of this team and the relationships we built this year outweighed any medal or honor.”

This sentiment was echoed by Daniels, who credited not only her coaches, but the support of her teammates for her success this year. Alongside the competitors, several other team members , including senior Maggie Pacquer, travelled to the state competition in Peoria to cheer on their friends. It was moments of support like this throughout the season that Daniels won’t soon forget.

“I remember one time that I was so frustrated with one of my pieces that three other teammates and I just laid in the hallway and talked for hours until I was able to get up and work on it again,” Daniels said. “That was an unforgettable moment for me.”

Glennon, who joined speech for the first time this year, commented on how exciting it was to go to state with other decorated performers.

“I really didn’t have high expectations coming into the season this year. I was just planning on seeing if I liked the activity,” Glennon said. “It was super rewarding and validating to go to state this year, and I’m hoping it’ll only prepare me more for next year.”

Coaches Chuck Cavazos and Bonnie Kale are both extremely proud of the state qualifiers, but also commended the success of the ensemble cast of “Pride & Prejudice and Zombies,” which performed during the “One Act Wonders” and also took 1st place at regionals for Performance in the Round.

“More than speech, my teammates and coaches have guided and helped me for four years. The relationships that are developed in this activity are powerful,” Manoj said. “Speech is honestly storytelling. Thankfully, I could share stories with some of my best friends.”