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.