Large Group Speech Season Begins

Team sees success at district contest.


Ben Janssen, Staff Writer/Reporter

Imagine working for months on one show. You practice multiple days each week for months for potentially just one performance. At Wash there are over 100 students who do just that. They show up and practice for their performance as part of the speech team. They are only ensured one competition, the district meet. This year’s district meet was on Saturday, Jan. 23, the Washington large group speech team went to Monticello for the district meet. Of Washington’s 22 teams at the competition 18 earned a division I rating, qualifying them  to advance to the state competition on Feb. 6 at Kennedy.

Speech is a combination of categories varying from solo and group mime to one act play, from improv to musical theater. Wash competes in multiple categories with a team of over 100 members participating in all of the categories. “I do the group mime category, and I love learning how to cooperate without speaking, and it’s a lot of fun performing without having to speak,” said David Hebrink, ’19.

Carrie Tinkham has been coaching the Wash speech teams for about eight years. She was a speech judge through, and after college and has been involved in speech for about 15 years.

She loves teaching the new students about speech and coaching them to get better. She loves watching all of her returning students show  their passion during the competitions, and sharing that passion with the underclassmen. “The smaller groups of students allow us to not only drive toward a final performance, but I also have the chance to teach students specific skills to help shape their talents,” Tinkham said.

After the state contest some groups may earn nominations to the  All-State Festival at Iowa State University on Feb. 20.

Something else new to the speech team this year is the team poster. Team posters are seen often around Washington for the various athletic teams, this is the first year that the speech team will have a team poster. The poster features the 33 seniors on the team this year and their theme, sports. “This is the first poster, and I’m excited to see how it turns out,” said Jake Treumper, 0’16.

The speech performers come back year after year, to practice three times a week for three months, for the potential of just one performance. They join speech knowing that they may not perform their show more than once. They disregard the potential for failure and strive for greatness, they show what it means to be a true Washington Warrior.

In addition to large group there is also an individual speech season. The individual speech competitions start with districts on Feb. 27.

Edit: We will have an updated version of this story containing information about which groups made All-State in the upcoming print edition of The Surveyor.