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Park Rapids Speechers' season begins

There's a lot of excitement among the "speechers" at Century Middle School and Park Rapids Area High School this month.

The new Speech season is underway, according to Head Coach David Overly. Parent/student information meetings were held earlier in December with a great response. As of this writing, over 30 students in grades 6-8 have indicated their desire to be part of the Junior Varsity Panther Speech Team this year. JV Coach Emily Schueller is thrilled, albeit a little overwhelmed, but up to the challenge.

Schueller and Overly started the season Thursday, Jan. 5. That marked the first official JV Team meeting, which included some training and the remainder of the time given over to helping the students find a "piece" or selection they want to perform in upcoming tournaments.

Sixth-graders will compete in five JV tournaments including our own JV Home Invitational on March 6. Those meets are on Mondays or Tuesdays. The Varsity Speech Team kicked off the season Tuesday, Jan. 3 with a similar agenda: training followed by searching for that "perfect piece."

Joining Overly on the coaching staff this year as his assistant is Deb Davis. After taking a year off, Davis is happy to be back "doing what she loves." Another valuable assistant, working this year as a volunteer coach, is Sandy Aldrich who brings years of expertise in the area of public address. Information regarding the speech team can be found on the school website, Click on Departments, Fine Arts, then Speech. New members will continue to be accepted into February. With flexible scheduling students involved in athletics are encouraged to participate.