Speech team builds unbreakable bond, hopes for state success

(Reprinted and updated from the March Network pg. 3)


Marian’s speech team is in action and ready to finish out a successful season. 

“Speech involves writing your own informative speech or using someone else’s literature as an interpretation speech,” Ms. Halli Tripe, speech coach and English teacher, said. “The students spend time preparing their speech in class and then compete in tournaments on Fridays or Saturdays.” Tripe is also assisted by UNO student coaches Megan Ojeda and Katiana Fischer. 

Tripe has enjoyed her time as the speech coach and says her favorite thing about coaching the girls is “getting to know   the students in a different way than just a regular classroom student.” 

“All the girls get along really well. They love to support each other in everything they do,” Tripe said.

Junior Callie Cavanaugh, who competes in the entertainment and duo interpretation categories, is a member of the speech team. She hoped to qualify for State at Districts on March 16 this year. But, District speech and the state competition in Nebraska have been suspended, as with all other NSAA activities and athletics, until May 1.

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Speech Tournament Time • The speech team competes at the Creighton Prep tournament this year. They won the overall team sweepstakes award. Photo courtesy of Arij Khan.

However, Cavanaugh and six others have already qualified for nationals. This year, nationals were to be held in Houston on May 7-10. They qualified for the competition by placing high enough at various local competitions and receiving a bid.  As of March 25, that NIETOC national tournament in Houston has been cancelled.

“I cannot say enough good things about speech. This team has done so much for me. It has given me so much confidence to speak my mind and use my voice,” Cavanaugh said. 

She sees the team as one big family that she has met through Marian. “We all support each other and have so many inside jokes.”

“I love my team so much. There’s no other group of people I would rather wake up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and spend eight hours in a random high school with,” Cavanaugh said. She says the people are what make the team so special. 

The speech team has various traditions that make the team what it is. Some of these include playing “Let it Grow” from “The Lorax” movie at every single tournament, frequent trips to Noodles & Company and Village Inn, taking a “scary selfie” at every tournament and the bus rides to Kearney every year for State. 

You don’t have to have any previous experience to join the speech team. 

For the 2020-21 school year, Marian will be offering a new course called Introduction to Speech and Debate. It will serve as a crash course that introduces all types of speech and debate categories to students. The class will be one semester long with hopes that the students will then join the team after. 

This is the last year that Tripe will teach both speech and debate. Next year, English teacher Dr. Renee McGill will take over as the speech team coach and Tripe will remain with debate. 

If you are interested, consider joining the speech team for the 2020-21 school year. As Cavanaugh says, “It’s a great way to make friends from schools all over the place which is a really unique experience. Wearing a pantsuit and heels is so fun and such a power move.”

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