Speech team seeks new talent

Seniors and co-captains Morgan Taylor and Tatum Langley performing their comedic duet piece at last year's fine arts week.

Seniors and co-captains Morgan Taylor and Tatum Langley performing their comedic duet piece at last year's fine arts week.

Equipped with binders, blazers, and the skill to memorize a speech ranging from heartbreaking to enlightening, the speech team has another exciting season cut out for them. Ready with new leadership and eager returning members, the team looks the best it has ever been.

Senior Camille Butler performing at the 2015 fine arts week speech team performance.
Senior Camille Butler at last year’s fine arts week speech team performance.

Joining the team this year is new head coach Mr. Kevin Martin, who competed in high school speech himself. York’s new leader also has an extensive background coaching speech, having coached eleven state champions and thirty state finalists. This is among other accomplishments, including three third place state trophies.

With a new competition season ahead for the York team, he shares his plan to motivate both new and returning members to put in the hard work necessary for success.

“The students that are already on the team, you have to get them excited about the team; we could be successful, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work,” said Mr. Martin. “Also, they have to talk the team up to their peers and the school.”

Mr. Martin, who spent Thursday spreading the speech team buzz at the activity fair, wants both veterans of the team and prospective members to understand the true goals of the speech team this year.

“Winning is great, but I think when you strive to have a good performance where you’re telling the story, where you’re communicating, that will bring about the winning,” said Martin.

David Hansen, sophomore, performing a comedic piece he wrote himself at fine arts week.
David Hansen, sophomore, performing a comedic piece he wrote himself.

Though speech is competitive, Mr. Martin’s goal is not to win, but to improve and work as a team. This philosophy is printed on the informational handouts for the team: “Excellence is the goal. Winning is just a bonus.” 

Certainly not lacking in strong leadership, the team also has three returning coaches and three experienced co-captains: Morgan Taylor, Tatum Langley, and Dominic Gatti. Elected by the team last year, they share their enthusiasm to start the new season.

“This year is going to be a good year,” said Morgan Taylor, senior. “We have a new head coach, and he has some great plans for the team. We’re hoping to have a ton of very committed people on the team this year.” 

While returning speech team members are searching for new pieces to compete with, they are also searching for new team members to strengthen the team. Being a part of speech team is a unique experience and teaches skills that carry on not just through the competition season, but everyday life beyond high school.

“Speech helps you learn how to advocate for yourself and form long lasting relationships, whether it be with your peers now or co-workers later in life,” said sophomore Erin Stone, member of the speech team board.

Speech team auditions will be Mon., Sept. 12 through Weds. Sept 14 in A250. If you are interested in trying out for the team, make sure to stop by A250 and sign up for an audition slot.

“The beauty of high school is that it offers so many different activities,” said Mr. Martin. “And if you’re on the fence about joining speech team, don’t be shy. Come on out, and you may surprise yourself.”