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WHS to host speech tournament

WORTHINGTON -- Saturday will be a bustling day at Worthington High School when the WHS speech team once again host the Trojan Speech Tournament.

"We have 258 entries from 21 schools in southwest Minnesota," said Worthington speech coach Linda Neugebauer, who has helped the team for 14 years.

Students will be involved in 13 different categories ranging from extemporaneous reading and storytelling, to creative expression and humorous interpretation.

A veteran in the storytelling category, high school senior Jackie Martin is excited for her final Trojan tourney this Saturday.

"I started doing speech because I was looking for a way to better my communication skills," Martin said, explaining how she began her involvement in speech. "Obviously, the ability to communicate is very important today. That's why I stuck with it."

She explained that 15 stories have already been selected this year from "Grimm's Tales for Young and Old."

"It's a draw category so we're given half an hour to prep the story," she said. "We have to come up with our own introduction and conclusion."

Martin detailed that storytelling is exactly like delivering a fairy tale with varying character voices.

"You really have to pull the moral of the story," she said. "My story this year is about second chances and forgiveness."

Like storytelling, Lexy Teerink explained that she has to create her own introduction for extemporaneous reading.

"It's one of the easier categories," she said. "You want an introduction that can grab your listener's attention right away."

After three years of being involved in speech, Teerink said she said she has grown in confidence and expanded her people skills.

Fellow teammates Kami Vogt and Whitney Prins explained that competing at home is "not as nerve-wrecking."

"I only get stage fright in front of people I know," said Vogt, who will be competing in the creative expression category.

The creative expression category requires contestants to write their own story and deliver it in eight minutes.

A slight variation from creative expression is the humorous interpretation category in which Prins will compete.

"How you would do that is with facial expression and the way you portray each character," Prins explained. "Sound effects are really important."

Each participant will compete in three rounds on Saturday.

Speech team members participate in weekly tournaments throughout the school year.

"At every tournament you get critique sheets so that way you can work on things and get your speech perfected," Teerink added.

At the end of the speech tournament season, students compete in subsection and section meets before advancing to the state level.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can reached at 376-7321