Rebel Speech Team’s Journey to Victory


Matt Bates

March 17th & 18th (last Friday and Saturday) turned out to be two amazing days for our own Rebel Speech Team after heading to Ste. Gen. High School for Speech Districts. Multiple students from our Rebel Speech Team achieved a great amount, proving to be a forced to be reckoned with. Mikayla Watkins and Haley Francis advanced to quarter-finals in public forum debate. Will King received 5th in radio speaking and 4th in prose reading. Mikayla Watkins received 2nd in poetry reading. Michael Cantrell received 1st in humorous interpretation and Courtney Kopp received 1st in storytelling. Mikayla, Michael, and Courtney qualify to the state tournament. Our Rebel Speech Team’s Reader’s Theatre also returned District Champions, the team consists of Andrew Wyrick, Ashton Camden, Haley Francis, Mikayla Watkins, Ashton Camden, Courtney Kopp, Michael Cantrell, and Willis King.

Michael had this to say about his experience, “I performed in Reader’s Theatre and Humorous Interpretation. As a group in Reader’s Theatre we have been rehearsing the piece since the second semester started. As for HI I chose my piece at the end of last school year and worked on it all summer and this year. Performing both pieces was amazing because the energy in the room was phenomenal and it helped me as a performer do better. I was doing so well in HI I had a girl crying with laughter. Overall, I felt great about both performances but I was anxiously waiting for the results. When I found out that we were District Champions for Reader’s Theatre I was so excited that it made me more anxious to hear the results of HI. When I heard the results I was astonished and proud of myself and immediately got excited for the thought of State.”

Courtney shared this about her experience, “I have been working on my storytelling non-stop since the beginning of the year. I had a lot of trouble getting down different Italian accents. I started out well in the beginning of the year with my performance but towards the last couple meets it was not going well. So I worked on my storytelling ‘Pizza For The Queen’ from the intro to the end. Working on voices, body movements, and transitions from character to character. I was happy to make it to Finals and I did not know if I was going to make it to State. There were 3 other performers that were as good as I was. When my name was not called until first place was announced I was very relieved and proud. I made it last year to but the difference between this year and last year is when I got my ballots back I had received ones from every judge which was a huge accomplishment for me. I am very happy to be going to State again but I know there is a lot more work to do before I go.”   

Lastly, Mikayla Watkins had this to say about her experience, “Districts is a very exciting experience! Schools from all over the district come together to compete against each other in speech and debate events. I was chosen to represent our team in poetry. Poetry is an interpretive event where the performer performs a published poetry piece within the time frame of six to eight minutes. I prepared for districts by working with our coach, Mr. Weiss. I also rehearsed on my own. At districts, there are two rounds. The results from the first two rounds determine if one makes it to the final round. I always pray before our meets that my team members and I do our best. I was very excited and pleased to find out that Michael Cantrell, Will King, Courtney Kopp, and I all advanced to the final round. Performing in the final round is always a rush. I competed against seven very talented individuals. I was nervous and excited to find out my results. This was the second time I had competed in districts and the first time I had advanced to the final round. Finding out I had placed 2nd and made it to state was amazing. I wanted it so bad, and to make it felt like hard work paying off. I definitely would not have been able to do so well this season without God and the coaching of Mr. Weiss. If you’re interested in joining the speech and debate team, I highly recommend doing it. There are different events for everyone. It’s a very fun experience, and you can learn a lot of good skills from speech and debate!”

Huge accomplishments are always very admirable, all students on Rebel Speech Team prepared, practiced, and performed with their everything to receive the achievements they attained. A big congratulations to all participants in the Rebel Speech Team and good luck to the qualifiers for the state tournament. Big things are expected for these individuals, and much more is bound to be shown.