Speech meets bring out best behavior
     2016-02-12      By Allie Mekolon    editor@geringcitizen.com
Entering a high school on a normal Saturday morning usually consists of echoes in the halls, a few teachers grading papers and maybe a janitor or two.

Entering a high school on a speech Saturday is much more than that.

It is suits, blazers and heels on every competitor. It is powerful speakers talking to walls around every corner. It is teams bonding at camp between every round. It is a Speech Meet.

Being at a speech meet isn’t like being at any other school event. The competition is there, but it’s like competing against 30 of your best friends.

“I see kindness and support when I go into a round, more than anywhere else,” said Jatin Cranmore, an informative speaker at Scottsbluff High School.

These well-dressed students are on their best behavior. They clap politely, or smile and nod to congratulate their teammates after a good play, rather than whooping and hollering from the grandstands.

Gering junior persuasive speaker Cassie Kurth said, “While at a meet, competitors must be on their best behavior, so as to best represent their school.”

The atmosphere is filled with professionalism and kindness all wrapped in one. Of course, there are the oddities seen at speech hallways that may need some explaining. Yes, it’s very common to see a student speaking directly to a wall, and the wall saying nothing in return. The student may appear insane, but may just want to do insanely well in their next round. So they practice their pieces.

The world of superstitions is nothing strange to speechletes or speechies. If one were to examine closely, they’d find that most people don’t simply enter a round of competition, not without some prerequisite.

“I put one quarter in my left coat pocket and one quarter in my right. I did this at the first meet I won. So I have been doing it ever since,” said Sam Willis, a Scottsbluff senior and entertainment and persuasive speaker.

Gering Senior Allie Baird, a competitor in oral interpretation of drama and poetry, said she doesn’t follow superstitions as a rule. She sticks with routines and habits.

“I always put lipstick on right before I go in,” Baird said. “I seriously can’t perform without doing it. I always practice my teaser and intro right outside the door, but not the entire piece. I think that’s bad luck.”

On Saturday, Feb. 6, Chadron High School and Gothenburg Junior/Senior High School were exposed to the speech world, as they hosted the meets our local teams attended. Mitchell’s speech team placed third in Chadron, and Gering’s placed second among the competition at Gothenburg.

Gering and Mitchell travel to Kimball on Feb. 13. Scottsbluff will leave on Feb. 12 for North Platte to attend the Blue/Gold Meet.

Gering Individual Results:

Keagan Heilbrun, Humorous Prose, 5th

Becky Boyd, Serious Prose, 5th

Hadley Kirk, Persuasive, 1st

Collin Potts, Persuasive, 3rd

Prohs, Johns, and Co, OID, 2nd

Mitchell Individual Results:

Ashley Jackson and Hannah Plasencio, Duet Acting, 1st

Hannah Plasencio, Serious Prose, 1st

Ashley Jackson, Serious Prose, 2nd

Ashley Jackson, Persuasive, 3rd

Hannah Plasencio, Humorous Prose, 3rd

Sierra Florke, Extemporaneous, 4th

Sophia Armstrong, Entertainment, 5th

Grace Cole and Kyra Lewis, Duet Acting, 6th

Grace Cole, Entertainment, 6th

Grace Cole, Kyleigh Adkins, Sarahi Barrios, and Sophia Armstrong, OID, 6

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