BANDON — Twelve members — four returning and eight new speakers of the 2019-2020 Bandon High School Speech Team represented Bandon at the Hap Hingston Invitational at Pacific University last weekend.
Bandon’s team competed head-to-head with from speakers from 16 schools of all sizes, some included Marshfield, Southridge, Oregon City, Westview, Glencoe, Hood River Valley, Lincoln and Sandy.
In the open division for returning speakers, in Duo Interpretation, Elli Schulz and Kayla LaPlante placed sixth with the piece titled "Wretched." In Humorous Interpretation, Katie Kilcoyne placed third with the piece titled "My Life in Babysitting."
In the Novice division for first-year speakers, advancements include Radio with Dani McLain with an original piece on the topic of obesity placed third, and Hallie Minkler with an original piece on the topic of stress on adolescence placed fourth, respectively. In Poetry, Daniel Cabrera placed third with the topic of "Teenage Love," Minkler placed second, with the topic of "Music," and Hannah Bristow placed sixth with the topic of "Alcoholism."
In Prose, Ailey Knight placed sixth with the piece titled "Beaten Down: Silently Suffering” by Thomas Hodge, and Samantha Marsh placed fifth with the piece titled "Black Hair," by Brenda Wong, respectively.
In Oratory, Humorous Interpretation and Duo Interpretation were collapsed with the open and junior division. In Original Oratory, Bristow advanced as a finalist with the original piece about procrastination. In Humorous Interpretation, Minkler placed fifth with "The Incredible Adventures of Maw-Maw's Blanket," by Bryan Denbow, and in Duo Interpretation, Knight and Cabrera (collapsed) placed second in Open and first among Novice competitors with the piece titled, "Untied Norm," by Arthur Goodwin. Kenny McMillen was awarded third place and outstanding speaker in Student Congress
Thanks to a grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Keiser Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, North Bend, Marshfield and Bandon High Schools were able to participate in a multi-day speech workshop via video conference in September with Demond Wilson, a dramatic interpretation national champion as well as a coach of national champions. In addition, Wilson video conferenced with BHS Speech Team members in October. Wilson also spent time in January on the South Coast, working with the Bandon and Marshfield speech teams.
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Co-captains this year are four-year speakers Becky Yu and Amelia Russell. Seniors include Autumn Davis, Samantha Marsh, and Kyla Harris; juniors Elli Shulz, Quinn McGagin, Max Sanchez, Katie Kilcoyne, Kayla LaPlante, Ailey Knight, and Hannah Bristow; sophomore Riley Cook; freshmen Daniel Cabrera, Maddy Miller, Dani McLain, Hallie Minkler, Kenny McMillen, and Emma Killough.
Several community members volunteered to help judge the tournament, including Marino Santoro and Derick Duell. Coach Tyler Curtis broke his leg last week and was unable to make the tournament. BHS Spanish teacher Liz Villagomez and parent Jennifer Schulz stepped in to chaperone. Julie Miller also provided support to the team throughout the tournament.
"Bandon was well represented with our many talented speech team members," freshman Maddy Miller said. "I believe that our pieces, as well as our speaking skills, have grown dramatically with the help of our experienced teammates and through pushing ourselves."
"This tournament provided a lot of growth for our team, from improving our pieces to building a stronger connection as team," said junior Elli Schulz. "I couldn't be more proud of how far the Bandon Speech Team has come and how far we have to go!"
The team's second Sweet Speeches of the season will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Sprague Community Theater.
Bandon will travel to Grants Pass Jan. 31, and the University of Oregon Feb. 15-16. The National Qualification tournament will be held at the UO March 13-14, the OSAA district at Marshfield also in March, then the OSAA state tournament at Western Oregon University April 23-25.
This year’s national competition will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.