Trading Traditions for New Beginnings

Speech Students Begin Rehearsal


Savana Hines

Freshman teammates Audrey Jolley, Elizabeth Sleper and Ava Timmerman read through scripts during practice for their first speech season.

Brooke Holtz, Staff

Most years, students look forward to the competition and performance aspects of speech.

Going into this year, we knew things were not going to be like the normal senior year everyone dreams of. So much hope has been crushed for everyone, so it’s kind of hard to find things to look forward to relating to high school anymore.

— Jadyn Werner

This year, however, that won’t happen. 

Due to COVID-19, West Delaware will submit ratings to the Iowa High School Speech Association after performances at West Delaware, rather than attending traditional competitions in-person.

“Hearing that competitions were cancelled broke my heart,” senior Jadyn Werner said. “As much as I hate getting up at 5 a.m., I love being able to surround myself with the nervous energy of performers all day.”

Ninety-five students are involved in speech this year, in 24 large group events. 

District large group performances will take place between Jan. 18 and 27, along with State performances taking place between Feb. 1 and 10. West Delaware will perform in small groups throughout these date ranges and then send in those ratings to the local district/state contest manager. 

Certain coaches are choosing to hold their practices over Zoom due to the number of people in their groups and the fact that some students are quarantined. 

“I was quarantined for the first week of practices,” senior Aleah Heims said. “I was able to Zoom into my practices, which helped me meet my teammates, but I was eager to be back in person.”

Head Coach Abigail Goldsmith’s first year coaching speech at West Delaware has been a whirlwind.

“It’s been kind of overwhelming at times, but it has been great fun so far,” Goldsmith said. “We’re definitely getting through it by leaning on each other and understanding that nothing’s going to be perfect; we just need to make the best of it.”