Individuals dressed in black blend together as they file off the yellow school buses into the noisy cafeteria. Voices blend together, echoing clicks of heels, and quickening steps fill the hallways as competitors, judges, and observers make their way into assigned classrooms.
Codes are distributed, ballots are filled, rooms are found, and everyone rushes to start the first round of three at 8 a.m.
On Jan. 6 Huntley High School hosted the Winter Classic Speech Tournament. Huntley and Fenton Community High School individually had two significantly small tournaments planned out but it was decided to combine the tournaments resulting in about 20 schools competing against one another.
“This tournament was a lot bigger so more competition,” junior Harini Marchadi said. “It was a little overwhelming.”
Students, judges, coaches, and former students were all present at the tournament. There may have been a great deal of competition, but there was also a great deal of support.
“I felt nervous because there were a lot of schools there,” freshman Greta David said. “They’re all really good, too.”
Three rounds were completed over a course of four hours before posters were taped to the walls. Students fled to the large pieces of paper searching for their names.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” freshman Keely Alfano said. “But it’s still fun.”
Braeden Clements and Christina Giorgi placed fourth for dramatic duet acting, Kate Urosevich placed sixth for dramatic interpretation, Kate Emmel and Sophie Dowell placed third for humorous duet acting, along with a few others.
Overall, first placed went to Wheaton Warrenville South High School, second to Downers Grove South High School, and third to Hinsdale Central High School.
Speech Team may seem strictly competitive, but that’s not all it is.
“Speech allows me to see myself grow and take risks,” junior Allison Carmody said. “It’s an important skill for everyone because you’re going to use it for the rest of your life.”