The Spartan Star

The Student News Site of Marian Catholic High School

The Spartan Star

The Spartan Star

Speech Team Triumphs at State


The Marian Catholic speech team wrapped up their season at the state competition in Peoria, Illinois. Three individual events and the performance-in-the-round cast placed in finals, reflecting their months-long dedication to perfecting their crafts. 

The prelim rounds began on Friday, February 16 with the team competing in Dramatic Duet Acting, Humorous Duet Acting, Humorous Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Poetry Reading, and Performance-in-the-Round. The prelim rounds were extensive and competitive, challenging a variety of the performers’ capabilities in clarity, tone, emotional expression and much more. 

Among the finalists were: 

Shelah Boyd (‘24), who gave a powerful and moving performance in poetry reading. She delivered a program called Women Worth Fighting For -a Black women’s struggle and rejection of white feminism. Her ability to paint a clear picture of the character’s emotions was an exemplification of her continuous dedication throughout the season, earning her second place. 

Chris Reed (‘24), who made the audience roar with laughter in the final round of humorous interpretation. His event is multi-faceted –playing different characters by “popping” into different poses and voices to signify a new one. He tells a story of a villain trying to fit in as “evil” by defeating his nemesis -and superhero- Captain Hammer.  His natural acting capabilities and humorous delivery stood out as he earned third place. 

The roaring laughter continued for Chris as he and his partner Delcena Sawyer (‘24) performed their Humorous Duet Acting piece. Ernest Thompson’s “The Valentine Fairy” follows Ingrid– a woman struggling with a breakup and self-acceptance- and her valentine fairy who shows her the importance of self-love through quick-wit. The two’s chemistry was radiant, making the humor feel natural. Their bond as a duet and natural talents helped earn them fourth place.  

In the end, the cast of the “Every Brilliant Thing” performance-in-the-round emerged victorious, being crowned state champions in the event. The large cast of twelve performed a 15-minute-long play. They shared a powerful story about a daughter’s list of brilliant things in life written to help her mom cope with depression and prevent her from suicidal attempts. When the list does not save her mom, it ends up saving the daughter from the same feelings later in life. Each cast member’s emotional portrayal made for a combination of powerful delivery and an understanding of the subject matter, ultimately bringing the audience and judges to tears. 

Tory Cates (‘27) played the main character of the daughter. She explains what this win means for the team, “Winning first at state was a wonderful experience for all of us on the team but also a huge accomplishment for the Marian speech team. This win was the motivation we all needed to be able to strive for the best but also have fun while doing so. Overall the speech team will only get better and better from here! We’re just getting started!”

The teams’ victories are not only a source of pride. They are the result of months-long dedication to their crafts and teamwork. After a successful state series, the team is now working to compete in the Group Interpretation state series starting on March 16th. 

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