Speech competitors gather in the auditorium for the awards ceremony. Photo by Emily Walker (Photo by Emily Walker)
Speech competitors gather in the auditorium for the awards ceremony. Photo by Emily Walker

Photo by Emily Walker

York speech team sweeps at Viking Varsity Challenge

November 16, 2018

This past Saturday York’s speech team competitors set their alarm clocks for 5:00am and prepared to compete at Fremd High School’s Viking Varsity Challenge, their second tournament of the season. The nearly twelve hour tournament ended very well for the team, who won first place out of 31 competing schools.

Photo by Emily Walker
Junior Matt Hauser (left) and sophomore Charlie Kungl (right) received 5th place in humorous duet acting

Speech team competitors compete in 14 different events, ranging from original comedy to poetry or impromptu speaking. York placed in 11 of these events, with 16 students bringing home individual awards, and three students becoming tournament champions in their events.

One of the students who placed was Senior Joe Brown, who received 5th place in informative speaking and was the tournament champion in impromptu speaking.

“The win in impromptu felt great because there were eight people in that final round, so I had a lot of competition,” Brown said. “But it also felt really great because all three of our impromptu speakers also made the final round. So I didn’t just win, I also got to be there with my friends Adrian and James who placed as well.”

The team is a tightly knit one, with competitors often collaborating during practice and outside of school. The energy at the awards ceremony was infectious, but the students know they have to stay humble.

“This win means that we’re starting off strong, but be can’t get big heads and lose our focus,” sophomore Charlie Kungl, who received 5th place in humorous duet acting, said. “We need to work hard to keep doing well.”

This tournament was particularly special for the team’s co-captain David Hansen, who was the tournament champion for both humorous interpretation and original comedy. As he begins his fourth speech season, he reflected on how the team has grown.

Photo by Kate Gehrke
A group of competitors pose with their awards. From left to right: Charlie Kungl (sophomore), David Hansen (senior), Emily Walker (junior), Zachary Bernstein (senior), and Joe Brown (senior).

“I think some schools are surprised. York hasn’t had a big name in speech, usually last year we would be getting 5th or 6th at tournaments,” Hansen said. “But today we pulled out a win and I think a lot of people are surprised. We have a really talented group this year.”

The speech season is just beginning, and the team hopes they can carry this energy with them in future tournaments. Their win will hopefully be the first of many.

“I think people will be scared of York Speech team,” Brown said. “We have a lot of really talented speakers and a massive team which betters our chances, and I think other schools are going to have to watch out.”

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