By Eli Bolus and Jared Murray
This past weekend, the FC speech team produced three state finalists: junior Chase Dyer, senior Clayton Cassidy and senior Paige Settles, who went on to place fourth in the state in Impromptu Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking.
Both Settles and the team placed fourth this year. The state meet uses a sweepstakes system, awarding a higher amount of points to individuals who place higher. The points are then tallied together and the team that garners the most points is awarded first.
While this is the third time Settles has qualified for state, it is the best the team has ever done as a whole, said speech coach Wallace Austin.
“Everybody predicted Paige would break into finals, but none of us really expected to place so high,” said sophomore Sarah Henry.
Settles had a lot to say about her numerous state appearances.
“By the end of the day I was really tired. It was very cut-throat,” said Settles about this year’s state competition.
While some might think that numerous awards and state appearances would be the best part of being a member of such a successful program, Settles had this to say: “[My favorite part about speech] is how much I’ve changed as a person.”
Settles is not the only thing changing on the team. The upcoming season marks the loss of numerous seniors who have helped to shape the program during their time at FC.
“We are losing Paige, who is our team captain and a really great leader, so that will change a lot of things on the team next year” said Henry. Also graduating are AJ Adams, Brittany Bowen, and Cassidy.
Although the season is over for the speech team, preparation have already begun. “People have already started writing or choosing speeches to present next year,” said Henry.
Austin is preparing by sponsoring a rummage sale to raise funds for next year’s season and an upcoming trip to nationals in Indianapolis. The sale will take place April 28 and donations will be accepted.