Forensics team rises to level of competition, secures its first ever state championship

Central’s Forensics team competed in the IHSA State Championship last Saturday, Feb. 21, and won the State title for the speech team. Central edged defending champions from Wheaton South to secure the victory with 29 points. Despite placing third in the contest last year, Central was able to tackle the high level of competition at the tournament.

“The competition level at state is insane,” said Presleigh Renner, junior team member and second place finisher in Dramatic Interpretation. “Everyone there is incredibly talented and serious about what they are doing.”

Renner’s event, Dramatic Interpretation, highlights a lengthy monologue that demonstrates the ability of the speaker to perform an impression.

“I performed an impression of Judy Garland that used her actual words to create a cohesive storyline,” Renner said. “It’s kind of like an eight minute dramatic monologue.”

With such intense competition at the meet, Central had to come together as a team to come out victorious. Unlike most competitions the Forensics team faced throughout the school year, the state championship saw more diverse styles in various schools’ speeches.

“There is a concrete distinction between the styles of speeches and performances from the southern Illinois teams and the northern ones,” said Toni Adeyemi, senior team member. “However, everyone is really equally as good. Everyone on our team who placed in the state finals truly did something spectacular because of the high level of competition.”

Adeyemi participated in the event called Special Occasion Speaking.

“Special Occasion Speaking means I write an original speech intended for an audience about an event that occurred,” Adeyemi said. “I decided to write a speech speaking to the future educators of America about an event that occurred when we were teaching at the elementary school.”

Adeyemi’s event is unique because of the theoretical approach that the speakers needed to take.

“It was all hypothetical, so I was playing the role of the president of future educators, even though in real life I am not actually,” Adeyemi said.

With such diverse events at the state meet, it took perseverance for Central to obtain the victory and add a sixth trophy for the tally of this year’s championships.