The Elwood Pirates Speech Team is off to an exciting start to the season and ready to take action at every meet with Nicole Salisbury as their coach.
Team members are: Seniors Grant Beitler, Brooke Brockman, Lauren Hickey, Shannon Kennicutt, Marissa McClung, Xandria Pike, and Emily Winter; Juniors Makayla Buell and Alayna Moore; Sophomore Delaney Collins; Freshman Kassandra Salisbury.
“The season is off to a good start. We weren’t able to compete in our first scheduled meet at Cozad because of weather conditions, so Lexington was our first competition,” explained Salisbury. Since then, the team has competed at Doniphan-Trumbull and Broken Bow. Several team members have brought home medals from these tournaments.
“We have gotten some great feedback from the judges and are ready to take on the competition at future meets. We have a strong group of seniors this year, so I’m excited to see how they will do this season. We will miss them after this season and will need to recruit to fill those spots and continue to build our competitive speech program,” said Salisbury.
With more meets ahead, the Pirate Speech Team has many goals. “My goal for this season is to see each speaker become more confident and improve with constructive feedback,” said Salisbury. “Our speech shirts say, ‘Your fear is our fun,’ because so many people fear public speaking. I want each of our speakers to find satisfaction and fun in competitive speaking. I’d like to see us qualify more students for state speech this year. That is a unique, beneficial experience in itself; I want that for all of our speakers.”
Salisbury says, “As a coach, it’s amazing to watch students progress throughout the season. Sometimes they surprise themselves and find success at an event they didn’t think they could ever attempt. It’s a blessing to be able to coach these students and be a small part of that journey.”