Chesterton Tribune

Photo: CHS regains state speech title by crushing last year's champion

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State Speech Champs: Members of the State Champion Chesterton High School Speech team are pictured here. Front row, left to right, Melissa Frye, Alyssa Penning, Kathleen O'Keefe, Trinadi Shires, coach Amy Pavlock and coach Chris Lowery. Back row, Tyler DeMar, coach Bob Kelly, Kristin Kalita, Sarah Christofersen, Aaron Fioritto, Jack Deuberry, Kelsey Marchak, Beau Rajsic, Scott Trepper, Erik Gentry, Rachel Marvin, Greg Gentry, Zack Stemer, Jay Hartford, Kayla Fleming, Samantha Sangerman, Jeff Corso, Melissa Penfold, Eric Schaefer, Samantha Kattalia, Kelsey Phillips, and coach Barbara Funke.       (Photo provided)Posted 3/28/2007


The Chesterton High School Speech Team won big at the IHSFA state tournament last weekend. The speech team won both the Division Three state title as well as the overall state title, beating last year’s state champion, Warren Central, by 25 points – the most dominant performance by a team in several years.

Fifteen CHS entries advanced to final rounds, accumulating 91.5 points.

Eric Schaefer and Trinadi Shires were state champions for CHS, Schaefer in humor and Shires in broadcasting.

Jeff Corso in prose, Beau Rajsic in broadcasting, and Sarah Christofersen in impromptu all placed second.

Christofersen garnered the most points for the team, 13, by placing second in impromptu and third in international extemporaneous speaking, but the victory was a team effort with finalists in 11 of the 14 events.

“We have felt all year that this is one of the strongest, deepest teams we’ve had in some time, and they really proved themselves this weekend. We talked about a mindset of focusing and finishing and that is exactly what they did. They are a tremendous group of young people, champions in every sense of the word,” said coach Bob Kelly.

Overall – the three divisions combined – Warren Central was second to Chesterton and Plymouth placed third.

In division one (small schools) Canterbury was first, and in division two Plymouth took first.

In division three (schools with more than 1500 students) CHS beat out Warren Central, second, and Munster, third.

As the overall sweepstakes team CHS was awarded the Ralph C. Lawson Memorial Trophy, the eighteenth time the team has won the award.

Joining tournament champion Eric Schaefer (12) in humor was sophomore Jack Deuberry, who placed fourth. In addition, Schaefer and his partner, Kelsey Phillips (10), placed fifth in memorized duo. Following Trinadi Shires (11) and Beau Rajsic (12), who were first and second in broadcasting, was Kathleen O’Keefe (12) finishing seventh.

In international extemporaneous speaking Sarah Christofersen (12) placed third, followed by Tyler DeMar (12) in fourth and Samantha Kattalia (11) in seventh. Christofersen was also second in impromptu. Jay Hartford (12) took sixth place in domestic extemporaneous speaking.

Kristin Kalita (12) and Alyssa Penning (12) finished fifth and sixth in original oratory, and Samantha Sangerman (12) was fourth in declamation. Sangerman, the third CHS contestant to place in two events, also placed third in dramatic interpretation. Junior Kelsey Marchak placed ninth in declamation. Senior Jeff Corso was the runner-up in prose and junior Zack Stemer took fourth place in original performance.

Advancing to semifinals but not to finals for CHS were Melissa Frye (12) in domestic extemporaneous, Samantha Kattalia in original oratory, Greg Gentry (11) in discussion, Tyler DeMar in impromptu, Kayla Fleming (12) and Zack Stemer in memorized duo, Jeff Corso in prose, and Jack Deuberry and Aaron Fioritto (10) in scripted duo.

Former students Taryn Kelly, Molly Deuberry, Alison Vodnoy, and Francesca Smith, along with Valparaiso University student Corryn Short, and parent Pegg Sangerman all helped with judging. Also judging or working the tournament were coaches Bob Kelly, Amy Pavlock, Chris Lowery and Barbara Funke.

This was the final state tournament for coach Barbara Funke, who is retiring from speech coaching after thirty-two years.


Posted 3/27/2007