BSM speech team looks back at successful regular season


Photo Courtesy of Henry Bird

In past years, the speech team has been a dominant program for BSM. The team hopes to maintain these high standards with their performance this year.

Brielle Baker, Staff Writer

The BSM speech team has had a very strong season. Under the guidance of head coach Maura Brew, the team has participated in 9 tournaments, and now they are on their way to sections.

Although the tournaments they have participated in have proven to be very challenging, the team managed to clinch some victories including, winning first overall at Centennial and second overall at Prior Lake.  “We are doing very well this season,” Brew said.

There are 13 categories for speech team members to be placed in, which allows for speech to fit the skills of many different types of people. The way the coach and the captains decide who performs what category is strictly based on the individual’s talents. Some categories include: Discussion, Creative Expression, Drama, Humor, and Prose.

Some of the team’s successes have been junior Cammie Norman, who placed first in the Humor category and sophomore Pedro Ochoa, who also placed first in Humor. Seniors Ben Larson and Hadley Beckstrand have also placed first in their categories Discussion and Drama. Senior Sophie Herrmann has also won in the category Great Speeches this season along with senior Henry Bird winning first at Shakopee in the category Extemp. Speaking.

Beckstrand’s speech is about a girl whose brother donated his kidney to her, but he died in the process. As one might imagine, it’s a very serious speech. “I was surprised to have gotten first, but I was very excited and pleased,” Beckstrand said.

One of the captains of the speech team, Claire Shinners, reflected on the speech team and their success this season. “We have a lot of new people this year which is good. My category is Creative Expression where I write my own 10 minute speech about anything I want it to be, it’s very interesting and entertaining,” Shinners said.

Brew is very happy to see many new faces this year joining the team. “I look for enthusiasm, commitment to investing time, and effort into speech, and willingness to work hard when choosing new members,” Brew said.

Tournament days are long and tiring. The first round starts at 9:00 am Saturday morning and after that, 2 other rounds occur throughout the day. Next, they have a break where the speech members eat and anxiously wait for the final rounds to be posted (as those are only the top people in their category to advance). After the final round, they wait for the awards to be announced and then head home around 5:00 pm. 

Brew said her favorite part of being a coach is the excitement of watching students develop their voice and develop confidence. “At meetings one-on-one with members, we go over the comments from the judges at the last tournament. We also talk about what is working and what’s not working, then tweak it to be better,” Brew said.

The speech team is hopeful to add more hardware to their trophy case this season. The ultimate goal is to make it to state, and the support of the BSM student body should help them get there. The Speech team will be heading to sections on Tuesday, March 20 at Bloomington Jefferson and would love as much support as possible.

“As we continue to sections the teams will get more competitive, but we will all continue to support each other and work towards our goal of getting to state,” Shinners said.