Speech team back with new leadership

Junior Abby Balong performs her readers theater speech last school year. 

With the first speech competition approaching, the participants and coaches are working hard to prepare themselves for Jan. 19 when they kick off the season at Waverly-Shell Rock. 

The speech team is very small when compared to last year’s team, but the new faces are excited and looking forward to the season. Two of the many new faces includes English teachers Jakob Elmquist and Catherine Bettag who are now the speech coaches. 

Though new to the CF speech team, head coach Catherine Bettag is no stranger to speech. “I was the assistant coach at Shenandoah High School last year,” Bettag said. 

Speech coaches Jakob Elmquist and Catherine Bettag are determined to rebuild the team. 

“Ms. Bettag is a great leader and she is very passionate about reestablishing the culture of the CF team,” Elmquist said. 

With new leadership and the desire to make everything perfect, things can get quite hectic. 

“It is both very rewarding and very stressful. I did not realize how much there was to do behind the scenes,” Bettag said. “I am very glad that I took this position and have had the opportunity to help our speech team grow.”

Because of how well last year’s season went, those participating in speech again have high hopes for the season. 

Junior Devin O’Loughlin, one of the few veterans this year, competed in original oratory last year and plans on doing it again at the upcoming competition. 

“This year, I’m hoping to qualify for state speech like I did last year,” O’Loughlin said. 

One of the most anticipated performances includes the ensemble group performing “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley. “I am very excited about one of our ensemble groups,” Elmquist said. “It’s an interesting scene that leaves the audience wondering who is truly in the wrong, Father Flynn or Sister Aloysious.”

With over 27 students participating and 13 of them double entered, the CF speech team is bound to put on a show, and Elmquist encourages everyone to come out and support the team, “Please feel free to come and watch various performances from CF as well as other talented schools next Saturday,” he said.

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