Speech competes in SISAL tournament


Hannah Nance

Students compete in SISAL tournament Nov. 5.

Kelee Mills, Staff Writer

The first speech competition for the season was the SISAL tournament. Harrisburg placed second overall 

“I’m very pleased with our first tournament. We placed second against teams that had more entries and more people than us,” head coach TinaMondino said. 

The first competition can produce a strong emotional response.

“I was very excited for this first tournament,” sophomore Jayci Elam said. “I was excited because I got to compete with people from different schools who are very talented and hearing their speeches is also awesome. I was ready to see how people would react with my speech that I gave.” 

The students worked all summer on their speeches, preparing for the first competition.

“I’m always excited for the first speech competition for many reasons,” Mondino said.  “First of all, there’s finally a bit of a reward after working on getting speeches ready since this summer. The new people don’t really have an idea about how rewarding and exhilarating speech tournaments can be. It’s always fun to see them get that Speechie Spark where they truly see how great they can be if they work at it.”

For underclassmen that have never competed before, it can be a tense situation.  

“It was so nerve-wracking! This was my first tournament of my first year, so seeing some of the performances by upperclassmen was impressive but also intimidating,” freshman Jocelyn Dismuke said. 

There are many different categories in which students compete.

“I competed in impromptu and JV Informative speaking,” Elam said. “I got to write my own speech and inform someone about it. My informative speech was about Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip. In my impromptu speech, I was given three quotations and I had to come up with a speech off the top of my head. I like challenging myself to see how far I can go. I broke JV finals with my informative speech and placed second. I was proud that I even got that far and thankful that it even happened. We spend a lot of time with our speeches and I do thank our coaches for that.”

For the freshmen, the coaches pick the category in which the students compete since it is their first time. 

“I competed in oratory and poetry. These events were chosen for me by my coaches since this is my first year and I was unfamiliar with all the different events. I placed third in varsity oratory and third in JV poetry,” Dismuke said. 

The students have to get to work quickly to prepare for the next tournament.

“We will be at Granite City this Saturday, Nov. 12. Then, we have Carbondale on Dec. 3 and host at Harrisburg Dec. 10,” Mondino said.