Posted on: December 10, 2021 Posted by: Marcus Collins Comments: 0

Photos by Marcus Collins

Eli Zweisler, first-year undecided major, performs during the speech team’s showcase.

By Marcus Collins, Photo Editor

An afternoon of excellent performances was on full display as the Moraine Valley speech team carried out a spectacular showcase for students, family, and friends to enjoy in the M Building Wednesday from 4-5 p.m.

Music education major Eliza Perkovich performs during the speech team showcase.

Five first-year students performed a variety of speech forms from musical, to informative, to prose short story in the event, which raised funds for the team.

“It’s not just a fundraiser,” said professor Krista Appelquist, one of the team’s coaches. “It’s also a showcase. We like to invite family and friends so they can see what we do.”

The team put multiple award-winning performances on display from its successful fall season. Ozzie Ocampo, Chayse Mueller, Eliza Perkovich, Eli Zweisler, and Itzel Rojas are all first-year students led by team captain Aiden McGuire, who is in his second year on the team.

This fall, the team has performed in four tournaments. At the last tournament, hosted at Elgin Community College on Dec. 4, Zweisler received the award for best overall speaker. At the same tournament, Ocampo took first place in dramatic interpretation, Perkovich took first in prose interpretation, Rojas took first in poetry, and Mueller took third place in the speech to entertain category.

Last year, when the pandemic shut everything down, the team was smaller.

“I was on the team last year during COVID,” McGuire said, “it was my first time doing any speech. I’ve done a lot of theater in the past, but this was my first speech team. And we did it all virtual.”

“When COVID first hit, our community was devastated and we thought competitive speech would have to go away for a while,” coach Appelquist explained. “But head coach John Nash took initiative to create an online virtual tournament and helped all the schools participate in it.”

2020 saw all of its speech tournaments held virtually, while in 2021 only about half have been online.

However, in recent months the team has had a surge of new members eager to perform.

“When I found that the speech team was open, I knew I wanted to do it because there’s not a lot of clubs open right now,” said Perkovich. “It’s definitely a fun community to be a part of.”

Eli Zweisler and Itzel Rojas enjoy a fun moment.

For freshman Itzel Rojas, public speaking has surprisingly always been a fear.

“I said, let me grab this by the horn and do it,” she said. “And I know I want to go into careers where I’ll be able to speak in front of people and be able to feel comfortable with that.”

As the event came to a close, the team kept the main purpose of the afternoon in mind. They were there to give their audience a showcase of what they are capable of and what they do best. They are always enjoying performing as a team and as a community for their friends, family, and for Moraine as a whole.

“You know, they can’t really come watch at a tournament, it’s too hectic, it’s just too much going on,” Appelquist said. “So, we put on these shows so friends, family, students, faculty. Anyone can come and watch and see just what we’re up to.”

The speech team’s next tournament will take place on Jan. 8. The tournament will be fully online, hosted by Moraine’s region. The MV speech team head coach, John Nash, will be running the tournament. Speech team members will meet in online virtual rooms and perform in those rooms live.