Posted on: October 20, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo By John Nash

Members of the Moraine Valley speech team show off awards they won in the first tournament of the year. Front row: Sean Nellis, Oswaldo Ocampo, Kandyce Swain, and Eman Qasmien. Back row: Aidan McGuire (captain), Chayse Mueller, Julian Zubrzycki, Gabe Dunkle, Eli Zwiesler, Cameron Spencer.

By Noor Awaidah, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

In the first tournament of the season, the Moraine Valley speech team took first place, won 20 individual awards, and had two members vie for the spot of Top Speaker.

But as they dug into their celebratory dinner after placing 1st at the McHenry County Community College Speech tournament, their focus was already on the challenges that lie ahead.

“I was really proud of the team for thinking that winning is not time to celebrate, but rather a sign that they were on the correct path,” coach John Nash said.

While this was a smaller tournament, it gave us all a great opportunity to perform and receive feedback we can use throughout the season.”


Team Captain Aidan McGuire and newcomer Eman Qasmien, along with an Elgin College student, tied for the title of Overall Top Speaker. The tie was broken based on the number of first-place wins, giving Qasmien the official title. 

“It is rare that a new student wins top honors,” Nash said. “This is a great testament to the quality of students at Moraine.”

Qasmien placed first in three events including Persuasive Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Interviewing.

This being only the first tournament of the season, the speech team is looking forward to a competitive yet rewarding season.

“While this was a smaller tournament, it gave us all a great opportunity to perform and receive feedback we can use throughout the season,” team captain Aidan McGuire said.

Although they were excited for the team win, they all agreed there was still work to be done in preparation for the next tournament.

Some of Nash’s goals for the team include “understanding that being able to communicate is a privilege” and “not being afraid to take risks in topic and performance choices.” McGuire adds that his goal as captain is “to truly foster team spirit and connection.”

The next tournament will be hosted by Moraine Valley on Halloween weekend. A total of 22 schools were in attendance last year, and Nash expects the same turnout for this upcoming tournament. The Moraine Valley Speech Team will be competing alongside other community colleges at this tournament, as well as 4-year universities.

The competitive speech season will continue all the way through April, concluding with the National Speech Tournament in Washington D.C., which the team is looking forward to.

McGuire said that it was exciting to “reunite with our Region IV family and kick off the season on a great note.”

Student Placings at the McHenry Tournament:

  • Aidan McGuire (Mokena) 1st place in Program of Oral Interp, 2nd place in Impromptu Speaking, 3rd place in Communication Analysis & 4th place in Interviewing  
  • Eli Zwiesler (Chicago Ridge) 1st place in Speaking to Entertain & 3rd place in Dramatic Interpretation 
  • Chayse Mueller (Worth) 2nd place in Dramatic Interpretation & 5th place in Impromptu Speaking 
  • Oswaldo Ocampo (Burbank) 2nd place in Interviewing. 2nd place in Speaking to Entertain & 2nd place in Persuasive Speaking 
  • Eman Qasmien (Orland Park) 1st place in Persuasive Speaking, 1st place in Extemporaneous Speaking, 1st place in Interviewing 
  • Kandyce Swain (Blue Island) 3rd place in Speaking to Entertain  
  • Gabe Dunkle (Tinley Park) 1st place in Communication Analysis 
  • Sean Nellis (Oak Lawn) 6th place in Impromptu Speaking & 3rd place in Interviewing  
  • Julian Zubrzycki (Chicago) 5th place in Informative Speaking

Cameron Spencer (Oak Forest) also competed with noteworthy preliminary round rankings.