DGS Speech Team Wins State for Second Year in a Row

DGS Speech Team Wins State for Second Year in a Row

DGS Speech Team takes state championship again in Peoria.

For the second year in a row, the South High Speech Team is named state champion in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Speech Tournament. The tournament was held at the Peoria Civic Center on Feb. 16 and 17.

At the State Speech Sectionals on Feb. 10, South High Speech Team competed and qualified for 11 out of 14 events for the state tournament. Every student that competed made it into finals. Below is the list of South High’s individual state placements: 

  • Brianna Leys - Humorous Interpretation: 1st place
  • Brianna Leys and Jessica Windischman - Dramatic Duet Acting: 1st place 
  • Hayley DeSilva - Oratorical Declamation: 3rd place
  • Hayley DeSilva - Special Occasion Speaking: 3rd place 
  • Tessa Lawler - Impromptu Speaking: 1st place 
  • Tessa Lawler - Extemporaneous Speaking: 2nd place 
  • Jessica Windischman - Prose Reading: 2nd place 
  • Rakiya Johnson - Poetry Reading: 3rd place 
  • Rakiya Johnson - Original Oratory: 4th place
  • Himal Koshy -  Informative Speaking: 4th place 
  • Faith Barr - Original Comedy: 7th place 

For the team’s group performance, 13 students participated in Performance in the Round, titled The Crayon Map, and earned 5th place. These students include:

  • Kevin Tate 
  • Peter Burrows 
  • Jacob Casella 
  • Jackie Lestina 
  • AJ Janos 
  • Sophia Girik 
  • Faith Ley 
  • Annmarie Elser
  • Caroline Venetis
  • Genevieve Dufresne
  • Emily Leatherwood
  • Kira Matheson 
  • Maddelyn Moushon 
  • Samantha Selakovich

The South High Speech Team is led by alum and current teacher, Justin Matkovich. Mr. Matkovich is a former IHSA State Speech Champion in Humorous Interpretation. Others who have helped with the program through coaching roles include Chris Blum, Jan Heiteen, Josh Durham, Autumn Geist, Alex Jones, Harris Salim, Jon Hansen, Reese Richardson, and Peter Szpytek.

“It’s easy to look at a team’s success, and overlook the hard work needed to get there. This team worked tirelessly all season to return to where they were last year,” said South High Head Speech Coach Justin Matkovich. “We are so proud of all they have accomplished.”

“Our speech team continues to make us proud year after year,” said South High Principal, Ed Schwartz. “Congratulations to the students on this outstanding state honor.”

For a full list of South High students individual results, visit the DGS tournament website. For the entire state competition results, visit the overall tournament website. To view more photos from the competition, check out the Flickr album.