Vail Valley speech team’s not only about competition |

Vail Valley speech team’s not only about competition

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyBattle Mountain High School team members flash their ribbons and place awards at the first meet after winter break

VAIL, Colorado –The Battle Mountain High School speech team is wrapping up its 23rd year of competition in Colorado’s Vail Valley with arguably one of the best seasons on record.

Of the 32 active team members, 29 have qualified for the State Festival Competition next Friday and Saturday. Several students have qualified in both events they have competed in and Aaron Szindler, one of the team captains, has competed in 10 out of 11 events and qualified in every event he’s entered.

Several students have broken into the top six places at competitions that have ranged in location from Glenwood Springs to Alamosa to Limon to this weekend’s competition in Brush.

The term ‘road trip’ takes on a whole new meaning with these team members who just like hanging out together. Team members such as Susanna DeChant, Andreas Callabrese and Alyssa Evans have taken first place this season, and sophomore Makenzie Mueller walked away from last week’s Roaring Fork competition with two first place awards.

Speech is not just about competition – speaking well is a life skill, and, on top of that life skill, Coach Suzanne Foster encourages giving back to the community.

For the last six years, the team has sponsored an student in the SOS Outreach’s winter sports programs. Team members also work with the Youth Conservation Corps and the Community Fund Rummage Sale every summer. It’s important for the team members to interact with service groups as well as fund raise.

This past November, three senior team members took close to 50 pounds of turkey to KZYR to contribute to the Salvation Army/KZYR goal of 2,000 lbs of turkey for those in need.

Speech team members also make friends around the state. They see each other at competitions and become friends with kids from Gunnison, Bailey and Calhan. While competition is important, collegiality and cooperation are even more so and are the banner words for this year’s team.

Join the team this at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday as they present the 20th Annual Speech and Sweets. Students, teachers, family and community members are encouraged to attend and watch the award-winning pieces that have impacted individual and team success.

There will also be a variety of home made treats, coffee and hot apple cider available to attendees. While there is no cover charge, the team gratefully welcomes donations to offset the cost of the state competition.

Support Local Journalism