Showcasing their polished pieces and selections, eighteen members of the speech team competed at the Minnesota High School League State Tournament on April 16. Coming home with five medals, Benilde-St. Margaret’s stands with the top runners in the state, making the entire team proud.
Mrs. Maura Brew––the team’s head coach––knew the competition would come prepared. Though her expectations were high for her own team, she wanted the competitors to feel confident about their performance above all else. “Nobody felt that they had made an error, they all gave it their best,” said Mrs. Brew. “It was everything we could hope for.”
With eighteen members competing at the tournament, sending five to final rounds was quite an accomplishment, especially considering BSM’s size in comparison to other, much larger schools. “The delight of seeing our name on final round postings and the joy on the faces of those who had worked so hard was incredible,” said Mrs. Brew. “To end the season with five state medals and two national qualifiers is amazing.”
Two weeks prior to the tournament, participants practiced with coaches to improve their diction, characterization, time of their piece, and overall performance. “I am so thankful for all of the time the coaches put into helping us prepare for state,” said junior participant Anna Landis. “Their assistance in combination with the support and advice from the team made practicing beneficial and fun––the speechers are certainly a caring and energetic group!”
Many students, teachers, and parents came to the event to show their team spirit––speechers and non-speechers alike. “It was so lovely see students standing and planning over a tournament schedule, in order to see as many people speak as possible, and lend them their support,” said Mrs. Maura Brew.
Senior Rob Shaver decided to come to tournament and cheer on his friends, even though he did not actually participate in the activity. “I barely knew what speech was before I went to watch State,” said Shaver. “I was very impressed by everyone I saw perform, and by the end of the day, I wanted to see more speeches. It’s an awesome activity!”
As the season came to a close, the captains, coaches, and the entire team felt a strong bond existed throughout the team. “We had a phenomenal season, and our results at sections and State truly showed our the amazing talent of our team,” said senior Jack Tift, one of the team’s five captains. “The medals and awards are great, but being able to call our team a ‘speech family’ will be a memory I treasure forever.”