Chesterton Speech Team Opens Competition Season

Dakota McCoy, Sandscript Contributor

The Chesterton High School Speech Team began the new season on October 11th by competing in Munster High School’s online, novice-only tournament. CHS sent eleven first-year entries to the virtual tournament, five of which advanced to the final round.

The online nature of the tournament allowed over 200 competitors from across the country to participate. With this increased accessibility, the competitiveness within each event increased drastically, making this tournament’s final round significantly more difficult to reach. Chesterton faced schools from Illinois and Tennessee, all the way to California. Regardless, Chesterton’s novice class answered the call.

The team’s final placings were as follows:

Aleksa Sorgic (9): 6th in Original Oratory (top Indiana competitor)

Mia Kirkham (9): 5th in Prose Reading

Elsa Leady (9): 3rd in Prose Reading

Addison Botts (9): 4th in Poetry Reading

Abby Gniadecki (9): 2nd in Radio Broadcasting  (top Indiana competitor)

Coach, Dakota McCoy, highlighted the accomplishments of the first-year members. “Normally we don’t compete against these large, out-of-state, private schools this early in the year,” he said. “For our novices to break into finals against these teams is a great sign for the months to come.”

This year, the Chesterton Speech team is coached by Karly Carden (‘17), Aaron Drew (‘18), Dannielle Hunt (‘99), Dakota McCoy (‘11), and Jami Spiegel (‘14). Since the program’s inception in 1967, this season marks the first in which the entire coaching staff is alumni of the Chesterton Speech & Debate Program.

Next week, the team travels to Bishop Noll for its first in-person speech tournament since March of 2020.