The Okarche High School Speech Team conducted one of Oklahoma’s first virtual speech tournaments recently. Due to COVID-19, many speech and debate contests are choosing to “host” online rather than have a traditional in-person competition. In a virtual speech tournament, students who compete in memorized, rehearsed events submit videos of their performances. Students who event “live” events compete using their computers’ microphones and cameras. Judges evaluate the performances and submit their ballots online. Twelve schools submitted entries to the contest.
OHS had twelve qualifications in the competition. Five juniors led the team. McKenzie Stewart was tournament champion in both original oratory and poetry. Emily Neuenschwander was tournament champion in monologue and humorous interp. Marley Hill and Kenzie Beard placed first in dramatic duet, and Kaylea Steelman was tournament runner-up in humorous interp.
Three sophomores placed events. Kylie Bailey was first in standard oratory, second in prose, and teamed with Riley Black to take second in dramatic duet. Black also placed third in dramatic interp. Emma Stover was third in standard oratory.
Three Okarche freshman also successfully competed. Chloe Goble was second in monologue. Madison Schaefer was a finalist in prose and standard oratory, and Afton Shirey received complimentary remarks from her judge in prose.
The Okarche High School Speech Team competed in two virtual speech tournaments the last two weekends and won the class 3A sweepstakes award in both. On November 12 through 14, five OHS students competed in the “Muskogee Little Nationals,” one of the oldest tournaments in the nation, and edged Wilburton High School by one point to claim the top school award in the class 3A. On November 19 through 21, nine Okarche students won the Marlow tournament with Shattuck High School taking second and Hennessey placing third.
Individual results from Muskogee are as follows: Madison Schaefer-first in both prose and standard oratory, Kaylea Steelman-second in poetry, Brody Sadler-second in standard oratory, and Afton Shirey-second in prose.
Individual results from Marlow include these OHS speech team members: Mackenzie Stewart-first in both monologue and original oratory, Emily Neuenschwander-second in humorous interp, Kaylea Steelman-third in humorous interp, Madison Schaefer-second in prose, Chloe Goble-second in standard oratory, Kylie Bailey and Riley Black-first in dramatic duet (Black was also second in dramatic interp and a finalist in monologue), Marley Hill and Kenzie Beard-second in dramatic duet (Beard was a finalist in poetry too).
The OHS Speech Team will next compete at the Oologah Virtual Tournament on December 3, 4, and 5.
Oologah and Alva Results
The Okarche High School Speech Team ended the first semester and started the second semester of the 2020-21 school year with team trophies at two virtual speech competition. For virtual competitions, students prepare their events as the normally would; however, they video their performances, which are submitted to the tournament director for judging.
On December 4, 5, and 6, Okarche entered the Oologah High School Tournament. OHS had three tournament runners-up. Kenzie Beard placed second in poetry, Riley Black was second in monologue, and Kera Avilez also placed second in standard oratory. Rylie Bomhoff was third in prose with Emma Stover placing fourth. The team also received the second-place sweepstakes award in class 3A.
On January 14, 15, and 16, OHS competed in the Alva High School Tournament. OHS had eight placings in the competition. In dramatic interp, Kenzie Beard was first, and Madison Schaefer placed second. Schaefer also teamed with Brody Sadler to place first in dramatic duet. In humorous interp, McKenzie Stewart was first, and Riley Black was second. Chloe Goble and Afton Shirey took second in humorous duet. Shirey also claimed the second place medal in standard oratory. Marley Hill placed third in poetry. Okarche had two finalist in prose: Kera Avilez and Emma Stover. The team also won the first-place sweepstakes plaque in 3A.
OHS will compete next at the Okeene Tournament in late January.
The Okarche High School Speech Team claimed the class 3A sweepstakes title at the Okeene Invitational Speech Tournament, which was held virtually on January 27 through 20. OHS students had 10 placings in the competition and another finalist in the competition.
In original oratory, junior Marley Hill was tournament champion; Emily Neuenschwander, another junior, was tournament runner-up in poetry. Fellow eleventh-grader Kenzie Beard placed third in monologue.
Three sophomores competed successfully in the contest. Riley Black was first in standard oratory with Sara Leck taking second. Emma Stover was fourth in prose.
Two freshmen brought home awards in two events each. Kera Avilez was tournament champion in prose and teamed with ninth grader Suzanne Smith to place third in humorous duet. Chloe Goble won two second-place medals: one in humorous interp and one with partner Afton Shirey in dramatic duet.
Okarche has two more qualifying competitions before getting ready for regional competition in March.
Weatherford and Crescent Results
The Okarche High School Speech Team completed qualifying competition for the 2020-2021 school year by placing several students in two virtual speech tournaments. During the month of February, OHS speech students competed in the Weatherford and the Crescent invitationals.
Two students entered the Weatherford contest, and both received first place in their events: Emma Stover in prose and Brody Sadler in original oratory.
Seven students received medals for placing at the Crescent competition. McKenzie Stewart and Kaylea Steelman were tournament champions in humorous duet, and Emily Neuenschwander and Emma Stover were runners-up in the event. The freshmen team of Rhylie Bomhoff and Reagan Marler placed first in dramatic duet, and Brody Sadler, an OHS sophomore, placed second in prose.
The OHS Speech Team is currently working on their performances for regional competition in March.
The Okarche Speech Team won its 24th Southwest Regional Speech and Debate title Saturday, March 27. OHS claimed the first-place sweepstakes plaque from the event, which was being held virtually this year due to COVID. Crescent placed second, and Lawton Academy took third. As a state qualifying competition, the tournament results determine which students will compete at the state competition in April.
Okarche advances 15 students in 22 events to state. Emily Neuenschwander was regional champion in three events: monologue, humorous interp, and humorous duet with her partner, Emma Stover. McKenzie Stewart was champion in poetry and original oratory and claimed runner-up medals in humorous duet with teammate Kaylea Steelman. Steelman was also third in humorous interp.
The team of Marley Hill and Kenzie Beard led a sweep of the top five places in dramatic duet: Riley Black and Kylie Bailey were second, Afton Shirey and Chloe Goble were third, Brody Sadler and Madison Schaefer were fourth, and Rylie Bomhoff and Reagan Marler were fifth.
Another Okarche sweep of the qualifications occured in standard oratory. Kylie Bailey was first, Madison Schaefer was second, Kera Avilez was third, and Emma Stover was fourth. Schaefer was also tournament champion in prose and Avila was fourth.
Kylie Bailey placed third in dramatic interp, Riley Black was fourth in humorous interp, Chloe Goble was second in monologue, and Goble and her partner, Afton Shirey, were fourth in humorous duet.
The OHS Speech Team, in addition to getting ready for state competition, is also working on their contest one-act play for May.
State Speech Results
Eight Okarche students received state medals in seven events during the OSSAA State Speech Tournament held April 7 through 10. This year’s tournament was “virtual” with students submitting videos of their qualifying performances.
Okarche had a strong showing from members of its junior class. McKenzie Stewart was third in original oratory and fifth in humorous duet with her partner Kaylea Steelman. Emily Neuenschwander was seventh in humorous interp, and the team of Kenzie Beard and Marley Hill were sixth in dramatic duet.
A pair of OHS sophomores placed seventh in dramatic duet: Riley Black and Kylie Bailey. Bailey was also fourth in standard oratory. Another sophomore, Madison Schaefer, placed eighth in prose.
Other Okarche Speech Team members who advanced to state competition were as follows: Brody Sadler, Kera Avilez, Rylie Bomhoff, Chloe Goble, Reagan Marley, and Afton Shirey.
The next competition for OHS will be the one-act play contest. OHS’s entry, Kindertransport, a drama about a young Jewish girl who is sent to England before the outbreak of World War II, will be presented for the community on Sunday, May 2, and 2:00 P.M.