A year worth noting
"I’m happy for the new friendships and experiences this year of speech was able to provide me," said Abigail Hofbauer, a senior speech participant. "I only wish I started it sooner."
Newcomers to the 2022-2023 speech team like Hofbauer had the privilege of working with several veterans including Ellie Reiling, Shyla Greene, Landon James, and Lucas Shirbroun – four seniors who have combined for a total of ten years experience. These students welcomed three newcomers to the short film category, including Hofbauer and senior Eliah Esdohr, as well as sophomore Lucas Obert. Shirbroun and Obert also participated on the individual speech team for the first time. Three other fresh faces on the individual speech team included freshmen Summer South and Ella Heitoff, as well as senior Lillian Kolars. With all these new participants, the CR-B speech team was able to participate in three different individual speech categories. Shirbroun, Kolars, and Obert participated in solo musical theater and South and Heithoff competed in after-dinner speaking. Reiling participated in the poetry category for the third-straight year. Jordan Kenkel is in his third season as head speech coach, and he was assisted for the first time by Rebecca Fiscus, whose choral expertise helped those in the solo musical theater category.
"My senior year speech season was definitely my best year out of all," Reiling said. "I advanced further than I ever did, and I also got to experience performing with a bunch of people and made even more bonds. In poetry this year, I didn’t 'sugar coat' as much and was truly able to share my story, which the judges liked more."
"My closest friends had done short films before and always regarded it as an enjoyable experience," Hofbauer said. "I thought it would be a great way to spend more time with them after school and make friends along the way. I also wanted to put myself out there senior year since I haven't done too many extracurriculars."
"I decided to participate in speech because I can make myself better at things that I already enjoy doing," Obert said. "Short film was super fun to do with a group of friends convincing me to participate. I also did solo musical theater because I enjoy singing, and it’s thrilling to do it competitively."
During the 2022-2023 speech season, short film students earned a division one rating at districts and advanced to state for the second time in three years. Five of six individual speech students earned a division one rating at districts, including Reiling, Heithoff, Kolars, Obert, and Shirbroun. Reiling and Obert also earned a division one rating at state and just fell short of receiving a judge’s recommendation, which would have advanced them to All State Competition.
"You cannot be scared to speak up," Reiling concluded. "I’ll always remember seeing the looks on the judges faces as I told my story as confidently as I did. I really hope that I got the point across to others about it being okay to speak up to overcome those large obstacles in life."