The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bayou City tournament successful for NE speech

By Victoria Cross/reporter

The NE speech and debate team made a mark last weekend at the Bayou City Swing Tournament in Houston. The team of mostly newcomers and led by coaches Justin Blacklock and Keith Royal placed in finals in multiple speech categories.

Forensic speech instructor Blacklock is confident in the fresh faces on this year’s team.

“We did very well,” he said. “Last year, we had a team of four who were returning competitors. This year, we have 10 on the team who are new to competing.”

Out of 18 teams from various colleges like the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M, the NE team placed at least once on both tournament days. Wyatt Tackle and M.J. Ortega placed fifth on day one and fourth on day two in the duo interpretation category. Justin Burt placed seventh in after dinner speaking. Becky Barber advanced to the semifinals in impromptu speaking, the only category with three advancements instead of two.

“There are three types of individual speech categories: platform (informal speaking), limited preparation (impromptu) and interpretive (poetry, prose),” Royal said. “The depth of emotions in the interpretive category … can go from jumping up laughing to almost in tears.”

Conveying such emotions is nothing new to team member Barber, a NE theater major.

“I enjoy impromptu because it is based on raw talent,” she said.

Raw talent could not help nervousness when first on stage, newcomer Rosemary Kryska, a NE psychology major, believes.

“This was my first tournament, and I was very nervous,” she said. “The judges gave me high scores — a one and three [one is the highest].”

Even though it is a competition with one common objective, students can come home with more than just rankings, Blacklock said.

“It’s a great networking opportunity,” he said. “You meet different students with different majors that later on go to different fields in the workplace. You never know who you will meet.”

After their first traveling tournament, the team is perfecting their interpretive speeches and preparing for the next event, Blacklock said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian