Two speechers to represent BSM at nationals


Senior Alex Smith and sophomore Liza Magill are busy rehearsing their speech skills as they prepare for nationals.

Maddie Hibbs, staff writer

As the 2011 speech season comes to a close for most of the team, senior Alex Smith and sophomore Liza Magill will extend their speech season by attending the National Speech Tournament this June in Austin, Texas.

The two will be competing under the category of extemporaneous speaking, which combines quick speech writing with elegant speaking skills. Under this category, each speaker draws a random topic about domestic or international political issues and then gets 30 minutes to prepare a speech about that issue.

Although Minnesota Speech is a 13- category activity, only seven categories participated in the National Forensic League Tournament that was held this year at Centennial High School with finals taking place at Eagan High School. The tournament was two days long, but it proved successful for Smith and Magill. “There hasn’t been a National qualifier from BSM in years, at least not for speech,” said Mrs. Maura Brew Head Speech Coach.

Smith had his doubts about attending the final day of the NFL Minnesota tournament because of the high level of competition in Minnesota speech. “I was surprised to get to the second day of the NFL tournament,” said Smith.

Minnesota often produces many national tournament champions, and has become a very competitive activity. “It is a little scary I suppose; there have to be at least 450 extemp speakers;it is very intimidating,” said Smith.

Magill and Smith will continue practicing throughout the rest of the year; usually practices consists of one hour a week, and whether this holds true for national competition participants Magill and Smith are not sure. “I will be practicing with [Ms.] Green, probably once or twice a week,” Smith said.

The National Forensic League Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world, will take place June 13-18 with students competing for over $200,000 worth of scholarship money. “I expect it to be a wonderful experience, [and] if I do well, I can hopefully get some scholarships,” Smith said.

To qualify for Nationals is an honor that every speecher strives for, and for sophomore Magill, simply qualifying for nationals is an incredible achievement. “[I’m] hoping it will be fun with a whole bunch of people that are good at speech, and I can learn a lot from them,” said Magill.