Devin Black of the Yuba College Speech Team took Best Speaker at Northern California Forensic Association’s tournament. The tournament was held at Santa Rosa Junior College on October 13 to 15. Yuba’s small team of four took on 13 Universities and 12 Community Colleges from Fresno to Southern Oregon and won a total of six medals.
Black won in every event he entered in the highest level of competition. He won first place in Poetry Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Drama Interpretation and Best Speaker. Black placed second in Oral Interpretation of Literature.
“You have to know the factors of literature and know how to entertain with emotions and voices,” Black said.
Michael Register placed third in Oral Interpretation of Literature. The two other team members Ellie Michel and Jay Her also competed and received high honors from their judges.
Of her team, speech coach Suzanne Ruckle said, “Everyone is expected to do all their outside research and practice because there wouldn’t be much time in class.”
The team brainstorms speech topics and practices dramatic interpretations of literature. They focus on their performance, scenes from a play, developing a character and voices.
Black said, “We pick literature that has a broad range of emotions, serious and entertaining.”
When the speech team practices, they use a series of characters. They have different voices for different characters and play different roles. Black said,” I like the entertainment factor, entertaining people and doing different characters.
During the tournament, there are ten events that the students are able to enter and each student picks five events per tournament to compete. During the tournament, the judges look for creative scenes. They look for literature that no one has performed or seen. The judges make comments, and the team constantly adjusts their work accordingly. Ruckle said, “We are constantly trying to improve our speeches depending on the judges comments.”
The Nationals tournament will be held in Houston in April of 2007. The speech team looks forward to competing with many Junior College’s and Universities.