York Speech Team speaks to perfection in record-setting regular season


Photo by Isabel Kachappilly

The Speech Team concludes their regular season with a championship at Metea Valley High School’s annual Scheidecker Memorial tournament. The Speech Team has begun preparing for the state series competition which begins on Feb. 6, 2021.

CeCe Lampa, Co Editor-in-Chief of TIY

The York Speech Team exited the regular tournament season with ten tournament championships, the most wins in team history. Despite the extenuating circumstances of an entirely remote season, the Dukes performed their way to the top in the regular season.

This year, the team spent each Saturday in formal attire and delivering eight-minute pieces, but they were delivered from the comfort of their homes. Competitors submitted videos for their preliminary rounds and performed on Zoom for their final rounds.

“This year was definitely different and more challenging, but it allowed you more than ever to watch yourself grow through the videos we submitted more and more every week,” junior Grace Stewart said. “It was honestly a great experience and helped me discover what truly works and what doesn’t.”

Not only did this season prove challenging for varsity members, but the novice team faced a new activity and a new manner of competition. However, virtual competition did not change the success of the novices. The Novice team went undefeated in the regular season, winning five tournaments.

“So, this was my first time doing speech, and I didn’t really know what to expect,” freshman Emerson Graham said. “Every one of the coaches puts their all into making our team better. I’ve learned this year that speech relies on every single member to be an important part of the team.”

Despite the inevitable roadblocks of a virtual season, the team still found ways to be successful and overcome digital issues. With anything from WiFi disconnecting to the inability to join a breakout room, the team faced it all with a practical solution.

“I had a lot of fun, as I always do,” junior Owen Espinosa said. “Even though there were so many hurdles to overcome being online, especially when it comes to duet events which you have to do with another partner. But, we were able to come up with many creative solutions to maximize each competition’s experience, and being chosen for the regional team, I can’t wait to continue this experience into February.”

Espinosa will join 20 other speech team members as they compete in the IHSA State Series. The preliminary and final rounds will be held on Zoom, with Glenbard West and Wheaton Warrenville South holding the regional and sectional tournaments, respectively. Head Coach Kevin Martin praises the team for the group effort for this season, believing a team effort will continue their strength into the state series.

“We believe that this will be a magical run in the history of the York Speech Team,” Martin said. “We need everyone all in if we want to achieve our goals.”