TAHS Speech Team Sweeps 2020-2021 Season

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Brayden Daniels

Alysa Wheland, Anna Lynn Fryer. Mario Grugan, and Lacy Daniels

The TAHS Speech Team swept the 2020-2021 Central PA Speech League by earning the highest All-School Average at the April Spring Meet, February Winter Meet, and November Fall Meet.

Mario Grugan, 11, won the Best Overall Speech at the Spring Meet by reading T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

“I loved the poem…” Grugan said. “It depicts everything I feel and think about.”

Senior Anna-Lynn Fryer finished her five-year Speech Team tenure with a Best Senior High Speech win for her original poem “Shots and Kicks.”

Spring of 2020 was one of change for me, and I can see myself in this poem trying to reach out and figure out what I’m supposed to be thinking, and more importantly, discovering who I am”

— Anna Lynn Fryer

“Part of my reminiscing this year has led me to read a lot of my old English work, and I found [this poem]…” said Fryer in her speech introduction. “Spring of 2020 was one of change for me, and I can see myself in this poem trying to reach out and figure out what I’m supposed to be thinking, and more importantly, discovering who I am.”

Juniata Valley freshman Allison Rodkey won Best Junior High Speech for her portrayal of “Barbie” by Haley Calderon.

“Since this was my first time competing in the speech competition, I was unsure what to expect and was thrilled to find out that I won…” said Rodkey.

Twenty-nine students recorded 45 speeches and won 25 plaques this season. Six speakers earned the title Core Competitor by participating in all three virtual meets. They were Juniata Valley’s Grace Brown and Ethan Kern, and Tyrone’s Laci Daniel, Anna-Lynn Fryer, Mario Grugan, and Alysa Wheland.

“This year we saw the speakers get more comfortable with the virtual format,” Williamsburg Speech Team coach Elisabeth McMullin said. “It’s good to see them speak in-person and virtually with the same level of confidence.”

Eight league speakers are graduating this year. Underclassmen interested in competing next year can check out this year’s statistics and winning speeches by asking a Speech Team coach for a Google Classroom invite.

“I’d like to continue encouraging Speech Class participation in the future,” Juniata Valley’s substitute coach Jessica Mills said. “[Requiring participation] this year got students involved who typically wouldn’t compete on the team.”