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24th state title: Even virtual, SCAPA speech team remains unstoppable

One hundred years after the first statewide speech contest in Oratory at the University of Kentucky, students in the 2021 Junior State Speech Tournament made history by competing online instead of in person. What did not change was the result: SCAPA at Bluegrass finished on top for the 24th consecutive year. SCAPA also won the Sustained Excellence Award given to teams for outstanding performances over time. Coaches Katie Donohue and Macy Reed guided the speech team this season, with assistance from Principal Beth Randolph.

The speech season in Kentucky runs from October to January, culminating with regional tournaments in February to qualify for state. This year, students competed online in 12 speech and drama categories – recording their entries and uploading them to a platform where judges watched and ranked groups of students. At the state tournament, judges eventually narrowed the field to the top six in each event, and these finalists received state trophies.

Congratulations to the winners from SCAPA:

  • Broadcasting: Bei Bei Sheng, fifth place
  • Declamation: Noah Jackson, first; Sophie Watson, second
  • Dramatic Interpretation: Ellie Naish, third; Eloise Logsdon, fourth
  • Duo Acting: Maya Conner and Sofia Sweazy, first; Eloise Logsdon and Annelise Brown, sixth
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Anthony Zhang, second; Luka Mijatovic, sixth
  • Humorous Interpretation: Haasini Beeram, second; Maya Conner, fourth; Katherine Worrell, fifth
  • Impromptu Speaking: Sophie Watson, second; Anthony Zhang, fifth; Madison Maxfield, sixth
  • Improvisational Duo: Nina Tay and Bei Bei Sheng, first; Katherine Worrell and Ellie Naish, second; Maya Conner and Sofia Sweazy, fifth
  • Original Oratory: Faith Walls, second; Nina Tay, third; Luka Mijatovic, fourth
  • Poetry: Haasini Beeram, first
  • Prose: Sophie Watson, third; Hian Seo, fourth; Hannah McGregor, fifth
  • Storytelling: Bei Bei Sheng, third; Sofia Sweazy, fifth 

The Kentucky High School Speech League offers membership to all schools serving students in grades 4-12. Speech trains students how to conduct themselves in public settings, how to communicate ideas, how to empathize with others via character analysis, how to read critically, and how to research properly. For questions, please email KHSSL Executive Director Steve Meadows or call (859) 927-1100.

(Posted March 16, 2021)