This winter, the speech team at S.H.S., like many other clubs and sports, had yet another season in the midst of COVID-19.
COVID hasn’t discouraged the team from adding new members, nor members Sophie Shaw, Eleanor Howell, Jenica Francis, Michelle Henderson-Bellows, Samantha Feather, and Angelina Lopez from returning to speech.
The team was able to return to in-person meets after participating in meets over Zoom during the previous season. Meets last year were full of turned-off cameras and microphones as the team watched over a computer screen at what their competition had to offer.
Shaw reflected on last year when she said, “I hated meets on Zoom. It did not feel like a real speech at all.”
With Zoom meets last year being less personal and less exciting for the team, going back to competing in-person has raised the competition. This allows competitors to feed off the energy in the buzzing room, rather than staring silently at a screen.
Francis shares, “This year in person has boosted the morale of all competitors. Leading to an increase in talent which makes me better as an actress.”
Sterling High School’s speech team has competed at a number of meets, with many people placing individually at each one. The speech team achieved first-place overall at one meet.
The team’s potential didn’t stop there with Francis and Feather both placing first at IHSA Speech Regionals and Sectionals. With great performances at those two meets, the girls’ achieved spots to participate at State.
Francis and Feather traveled to the state competition, achieving the goal they set for themselves before the season started. Being able to participate in the state competition in a year where competition season was almost normal was a fitting finale to Francis and Feather’s senior year.