Speech Season Begins in Rolla
Subzero temperatures and pre-dawn bus rides can mean only one thing: Speech season is back in full swing. The Rugby Panther Speech Team, after last year’s disappointing state tournament, would need something big to kick off the year. And they got it.
Last year’s successes were achieved by a team of 21, including seven talented seniors. As a coach, I knew that I would need to make up that deficit with seventh graders, but never could I have imagined the extreme turnout for the team this year. Instead of just growing back to 21 (as was hoped), our team currently has 33 talented students practicing and preparing for this season’s competitions. That’s a lot of talkative students.
Our season started with a tournament in Rolla on January 16. The tournament was specifically a first-timer’s meet, meaning only students who had never competed before could participate. Rugby took 13 students to this tournament, and each walked away after valuable lessons and a good understanding of what speech is all about.
The Rugby Panthers will officially kick off their competition season in Rugby on January 23. The Rugby “Panther” Invite will run at the high school on Saturday. Currently, 21 area schools are scheduled to attend the competition, giving Rugby its largest tournament in four years with more than 325 entries in 14 categories. The Panthers have 50 of those entries, and that is without three of its varsity speakers.
The Panthers hope to reclaim their Region IV Championship after winning it in both 2014 and 2015. Top teams in Region IV last year include Harvey/Wells Co., North Star, and Rolette. However, as any speaker would state, nothing is certain with speaking.
Also this year, the Rugby Panther Speech Program welcomes a new assistant coach. Dana Thoreson works as the Special Education teacher at Ely Elementary and has been a great addition to our program.
Again this year, I would like to offer free entertainment for your events. We have several hilarious scripts under preparation that are great for banquets and meetings. Please contact Kyle Vareberg if you are interested in having the Rugby Speech Program provide entertainment for your event. I can be reached by email (Kyle.Vareberg@k12.nd.us) or phone (701-776-5201).
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