Speech team talks their way to state competition

The 2016 - 2017 Speech team. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Lazzari)

The 2016 - 2017 Speech team. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Lazzari)

The 2016 - 2017 Speech team. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Lazzari)

Davina Rios, Staff Writer

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Speech team has been an activity at Lemont for 15 years. Students engage in communicative competitions that allow them to grow academically and professionally.

Mr. Lazzari said, “For me, I would say [that] the number one thing it teaches is confidence. No one really goes into speech very confident. Most people are afraid to speak in public and very few people have a lot of confidence doing that.”

Speech is seen as another sport to the coaches and members. They compete and win awards like every other athletic team. However, instead of joining typical sports teams, speech becomes their ‘competitive outlet.’

Member Justin Haase said, “It’s an easy outlet to compete, express yourself, and relay a message.”

The speech team recently had three members, Kiara Hardy, Devin Becker, and Hailey Jones,  qualify for state. All three girls have been a part of the speech team since freshman year.

Senior Kiara Hardy said, “When I was a freshman, I had such great role models, like Peter Marzano and Nick Lambrakis, that advanced to state in 2014. Competing at state has been a dream of mine since then.” 

Seniors Kiara Hardy and Rebecca Bailey show their excitement at sectionals. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Lazzari)

Competing allowed her to express a direct connection to her pieces. Hardy said, “For instance, my [current] piece is called ‘What It’s Like to be Black in Naperville, America,’ and I personally connect with it. It speaks of stereotypes, derogatory terms, and our justice system; it’s all very real to me.”

On the other hand, team member Devin Becker was attracted to Speech by a friend who was once a member. Becker said, “I joined because a good friend of mine told me it was her favorite thing at Lemont High School. Now that I have reached my last year on the team, I can say that I completely agree with her.”

Both girls have gained similar benefits after joining the Speech team. As students, they’ve learned to value new experiences and treasure diligence. Also, it introduces public speaking skills to the student.

Becker said, “Being on Speech team taught me the value of hard work. I learned that putting everything you have into something gets you results, and these results are significantly rewarding because you know what it took to get there.” Depicting the character from her piece allowed Devin to step into the shoes of that person to understand and comprehend their story and experiences.

The School Board invited the coaches and captains of the Speech team to a meeting. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Lazzari)

Hardy said, “Working hard can get you anywhere you want. If you do your best, anything else after that is out of your hands.”

Mr. Lazzari showed his enthusiasm as team members competed at sectionals and moved on to state, referring to their achievements as a ‘historical’ event. He describes their unity to the word ‘family,’ having people stand by you for the trials and tribulations. In Speech, the students become each other’s backbones and step in to support one another.

Recently, the three girls were successful at their state competition. Hardy won fourth place in Oratorical Declamation, Becker tied for ninth place for reading prose, and Jones tied for twelfth place in Informative Speaking. Congratulations to the team on an amazing season.


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Speech team talks their way to state competition