Speech takes first at Elk Grove, eight individual winners


By Diana Leane
Varsity speech members arrived in suits and makeup at 6:40 a.m. at Elk Grove High School Saturday, Dec. 5. The students remained at the school for about another 12 hours, competing at the Elk Grove Invitational for speech with members performing up to 12 times by the end of the day.
Prospect varsity speech took first over what coach Jon Kaminsky estimates to be 25 schools, and eight individuals placed placed first: senior Andrew Pittman took first in Original Comedy, junior Ben Marshall and sophomore Molly McDermott took first in Humorous Duet Acting, junior Jimmy McDermott and senior Kit Fitzgerald took first in Dramatic Duet Acting, Jimmy McDermott also placed first in Original Oratory, junior John Zach placed first in Poetry Reading, Fitzgerald also took first in Humorous Interpretation and senior Veronica Boratyn took first in Informative Speaking. According to Kaminsky, this was one of the toughest competitions they would attend this year.
Kaminsky partially credits the success to older, more experienced members helping the newer members prepare for their events.
“The part that’s the coolest thing is not necessarily just how many people won, but the idea that the older competitors have such [an] impact on the younger ones here,” Kaminsky said.
Pittman found last week’s purpose leading up to the competition to be another large factor for the win. According to him, the attitude shifted from the first two weeks since speech started to last week since speeches were completely memorized.
“The mentality of coming into this tournament was much more along the lines of ‘let’s work as hard as the previous week, but focus on making it perfect instead of getting it just doable,’” Pittman said.
According to Kaminsky, this week members are continuing to tweak their pieces. While a piece may do well at competitions early in the season, they continue to be altered since Kaminsky knows they wouldn’t necessarily do well later in the season like at the state competition.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, the members will compete their updated pieces at Palatine High School. Kaminsky and Pittman anticipate both individuals and the team to do very well, yet Kaminsky places little to no importance on winning.
To help discourage emphasis on winning, members give back any earned medals and trophies, which will soon fill the speech team’s display case. Kaminsky also credits this as a large factor towards members’ success.
“If they’re goal is to make the judge like them and to beat the other competitors, [the piece is] not going to be good,” Kaminsky said. “If they’re goal is to make an impact on the people who are in the round to where 20 minutes – two hours – two days after that speech, they’re still thinking about it, that’s their goal each week.”