It’s hard to believe my time on the Mound Westonka Speech Team has come to an end. After five years of dedication and having the privilege of being captain senior year, I could not be more proud of our team. Although we may not always have brought home the most ribbons, trophies, or medals, one of the things that has always stuck out to me is the camaraderie and dedication this team possesses.
As an eighth grader, the upperclassmen welcomed me to the team and I immediately felt like I was a part of the family; speech team has always been a place where I felt accepted and where no amount of craziness was judged. For example, I distinctly remember the sophomore boys singing “The Ultimate Showdown” (a song about superheroes) at the top of their lungs on the bus to speech meets. These same boys also used a GoPro as seniors to film their shenanigans during speech meets. I will also never forget a group of upperclassmen girls who made me feel especially welcomed in my 8th and 9th grade years; these three girls included Lily, Emma, and Claire. These girls always encouraged me and their dedication to the team still inspires me to this day.
During my freshmen year, we lost all three of our coaches. Lily, Emma, and Claire were the captains of the team this year. Since we were only able to find one coach, the captains also helped coach the kids on the team. The next year, Claire’s mom helped coach; Claire and Emma helped us meet the requirement for judges as well. Although this was not a perfect situation, these girls truly helped the speech team survive and built the backbone of our speech team today. As a captain, I looked to these girls as my role models and aspired to have the amount of dedication that these ladies have. Without their hard work and dedication, we most likely would not have a speech team today. Furthermore, the dedication of our current coaches and the hard work and energy of my teammates has helped make this season incredible.
One of the reasons I am so proud of the Mound Westonka Speech Team is because of the improvement we have shown from last year to this year. Last year, we only had thirteen kids on the speech team, many of whom were first year members. As a result, we did not have many kids breaking into finals or receiving awards. However, after members of the team recruited kids and Coach Rhys sought assistant coaches (Coach Hamilton and Coach Rausch), our size has more than doubled. Fortunately, more experienced coaches and members has allowed our team to thrive and grow. Going from zero kids breaking in Varsity Finals at Marshall, to having nine kids place at Conference, and finally having two kids break into semifinals at Sections, our team has improved tremendously throughout the season. Although we may not have brought home first place at every meet, I am so proud of the growth our team.
I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of such a dedicated and hardworking team. Although the season has come to an end, the friendships I created with fellow teammates and my coaches will allow me to keep speech team a part of my life forever. As A. A. Milne once said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
|2016-17 Speech Team|
|Ms. Rausch and Megan|
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