The Start of Speech Season


Jennifer Anaya-Serrano

In Jessica Kranz’s English classroom sits a Speech Team promotional poster. Other Speech Team posters litter the halls in hopes of recruiting more students to join the team each year when the season dawns.

As the months progress deeper in the school year, the start of academic teams is on the rise. As of Nov. 2, Speech Team has started preparing for their upcoming season by recruiting new members and resuming after-school practices. Some students may not know what exactly Speech Team is or what they do. 

Speech Team is similar to theater in many aspects, but also has students write their own scripts, perform others’ scripts, and research for arguments and discussion,” LHS English teacher and Speech Team advisor Jessica Kranz states. “It’s an amazing team of 15 different competitive events. We travel to various schools and compete on Saturdays.” 

According to new freshman member, Maddison Sell, after-school practice is an important time to prepare for the upcoming season.

In practice, we go over poems, speeches, plays, etc,” Sell said. “We do this to prepare ourselves for competitions, in which, we go against other schools.”

To some, being a part of the speech may sound intimidating. Fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, is a phobia that affects approximately 73% of the population.  Joining the speech team is a great way to combat or face that fear.

Adjacent to the entrance doors by the main office is the Speech Team’s award case. In it lies eleven certifications of memberships to the Speech & Debate Association, many of which were earned by last year’s lineup. (Erin Williams)

Seeing students break out of their shells to become speakers who have found their voice or their purpose is one of my absolute favorite things,” Kranz said “I love celebrating each individual student’s success, whether it is state qualification, sectional advancement, individual tournament victories, or just learning to command a room. It is worth every minute.” 

Last year during sectionals, Hallie VanCuren place second in Information, Luna Tafolla in third, and Celest Gomez in fourth, leading them to achieve third place overall. Then in state finals, VanCuren and Gomez became finalists, leading them to 16th place, combined.

Kranz has similar hopes for the outlook of the 2023 Speech Team season. 

“I hope we see much success as a team,” Kranz said. “I am confident that we have the right talent, coaches, and commitment to do well.”