For the third time in four years, Lemont High School’s Speech team will be represented by multiple students in state finals competition. At the IHSA Reavis Sectional on February 15, junior Nick Lambrakis won in Oratorical Declamation and senior Peter Marzano was the runner-up in Extemporaneous Speaking. Each will make their state finals debuts at the 2014 IHSA Speech State Finals, which will be contested on Friday, February 21, and Saturday, February 22, at the Peoria Civic Center.
Lambrakis used his entry — “To This Day” — to win titles both at the IHSA Sandburg Regional and the IHSA Reavis Sectional. In Oratorical Declamation, students present persuasive or inspirational material of literary merit—such as editorials, essays or speeches—originally prepared by another person.
Marzano finished as the runner-up in both regional and sectional competition, trailing only Sandburg’s Moyo Abriano at each event. In Extemporaneous Speaking, participants are given 45 minutes to prepare an original speech indicating their knowledge of current events concerning an assigned topic.
The 2014 IHSA Speech State Finals will begin in the afternoon on February 21 and conclude on February 22. The awards ceremony is set to begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. on February 22. The top three performers from each of 15 events at the six IHSA Sectionals advance to the IHSA State Finals. All competitors who tie for third place move on to the state finals as well, which means some events have more than 18 entrants. Marzano will be one of 20 competitors in Extemporaneous Speaking, while Lambrakis will be one of 21 in Oratorical Declamation.
Lemont finished as the runner-up at the IHSA Sandburg Regional and advanced competitors to sectional competition in each of 15 events for the first time in the program’s history. The squad posted five event wins at the regional, including Lambrakis in Oratorical Declamation; senior Sydney Bozich in both Original Oratory and Poetry Reading; senior Ryan Luzzo in Dramatic Interpretation; and senior Sara Van Hecke in Humorous Interpretation.
Lemont’s Speech team won its fifth straight South Suburban Conference-Blue Division title this season, thanks in part to first-place finishes from Bozich (Poetry Reading), Marzano (Extemporaneous Speaking) and seniors Liam Purtle and Robert Rigler (Humorous Duet Acting); and runner-up placements from Lambrakis (Oratorical Declamation) and Marzano (Impromptu Speaking). The team is coached by Phil Lazzari, David Lindley and Sandy Doebert.
Lemont’s best finishes in state finals competition came in 2011, when Delia Ercoli ‘11 was second in Informative Speaking and Aubree Tally ‘13 placed third in Humorous Interpretation. That year, Ercoli became the first Lemont student to qualify for state finals competition in two categories, as she also took part in Oratorical Declamation. Lemont’s other speech state finals qualifiers have included Bryan Carver ‘09 (Humorous Interpretation) in 2009; and Luzzo (Prose Reading) and Tally (Dramatic Interpretation) in 2013.