Chaska Speech

The Chaska Speech Team, pictured earlier this season.

Members of the Chaska Speech Team were awarded multiple end-of season awards.

“While the season was cut short due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, the successes of the regular season are recognized in these honors. These awards truly demonstrate the talent, experience and depth of the team,” stated a press release.

Twelve speech team members have earned All-Conference Awards in the Metro West Conference.

Individual All-Conference award winner and the speaker’s category include: Aravis Pennucci, Poetry; Ava Jax, Original Oratory; Cyn-Ean Yu, Drama; Cyn-Wei Tan, Prose; Ekaanth Veerakumar, Great Speeches; Evan Schwarz, Creative Expression; Jeremiah Cox, Drama, Informative and Original Oratory; Joe Klinker, Humorous; Parker Wright, Storytelling; Sydney Turner, Poetry; Yousif Hamza, Creative Expression; Zoe Hearon, Extemporaneous Reading.

Four Chaska Speech Team members were awarded Academic All-American awards by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). To earn this award, student must have more than 750 NSDA points, earned by competing and placing in tournaments, and have a GPA of 3.70 or higher. The four team members earning this award include: Jeremiah Cox, Ekaanth Veerakumar, Kian O’Connor and Aravis Pennucci.

Jeremiah Cox competed in the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions, a national tournament. He placed 3rd in Informative Speaking with his speech entitle “Water We Waiting For?” about structured water and classism of water access.

Two Chaska speech team members qualified to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the standard national qualifier events were not held. Instead, competitors qualified based on their season results or as a result of qualifying during the 2019 National Tournament. The two students qualifying for the National Tournament are Aravis Pennucci , Program of Oral Interpretation (POI)’ and Jeremiah Cox, Informative Speaking.

Three Chaska Speech Team members were named to the MN Speech Coaches Association 2020 All State Speech Team. To qualify for the all state team, students must be seniors, have competed in the state tournament at least once and competed in speech at least three years. Students named to the 2020 All-State Speech Team are: Faith Peterson, Jeremiah Cox and Lucy Browning.

The Southern Minnesota National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) has name Jeremiah Cox and their 2020 Student of the Year. Jeremiah competed in three categories in 2020, earning successful results in each of the categories.

Overall, the team had a successful season overall, placing 1st in the large team category at the Duluth Denfeld Rotary Speech Tournament, 2nd at the Chanhassen High School tournament and Eden Prairie Eagle Invitational, and 4th at the East Ridge Raptor Invitation.

“Although it ended early and abruptly, the team had very positive experience in their 2019-20 season,” stated a press release.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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