GHS Speech Team Kicks Off Their ‘21-22 Season


Emma Blaum ‘24 and Chloe Roland ‘23 prepare to compete in their category, Radio Speaking. Members competing in this category only get 45 minutes to prepare which can prove difficult. “I was especially nervous for radio speaking since we only get a short amount of time to prepare for it,” stated Roland. GHS has a promising speech team this year and can’t wait to see what the ‘21-22 season has in store for them!

Galena High School’s Speech team kicked off their 2021-22 season with two very successful competitions. This year’s team includes members Emma Blaum ‘24, Charlie Duncan ‘24, Chloe Roland ‘23, Madison Wild ‘24, and Adison Leitzinger ‘25. 

The first meet of the year, at Rochelle High School, was the team’s first competition of the season. The team experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during their first competition. Roland is new to the team this year,“Before the competition, I felt nervous and excited for my whole team,” she explained. “During the competition, I was nervous especially for radio speaking. But after the competition, it was so exciting to see what awards our team got.” 

The speech team had a very successful first meet with two members being specifically recognized. Duncan placed fifth in the novice final in the Dramatic Interpretation category. Wild also placed fifth in the novice final in her category, Original Oratory. Overall, the speech team had a very good competition, especially considering it was their first one of the year.

The next tournament, held on Saturday, January 8, the team caught the 6 a.m. bus to Byron to compete in the Byron Speech Tournament. While this was their second competition of the year, there were still some nerves among the members. In spite of this, the team managed to pull off another successful competition. In fact, the team has made finals in every competition so far this year. 

Blaum had an especially successful competition. She placed sixth in the Radio Speaking category and fifth in the Oracal Declamation category. In the Oratorical Declamation category, contestants have to find a speech that has been written by someone else and memorize. It requires a lot of memorization and practicing the delivery of the speech. For Radio Speaking, participants receive a packet of different types of news clips including a commercial, weather, and sports. They have 45 minutes to get the speech between four minutes 55 seconds and five minutes five seconds. Each speech is performed twice, each time for different judges. If the contestants make it into the finals, they perform their speech one more time for the finals round. 

“I was really happy getting into the finals,” Blaum said, “I’m competing at a varsity level this year, so it was really great seeing how far I made it, and I look forward to improving my speech skills for future tournaments.” 

The next competition location for GHS’s speech team is in Stockton on January 22. Galena High School is excited to see what other successes its ‘21-22 speech team will achieve!