Forensics team prepares for state championship


photo used with permission of Garrett Jones

The forensics team wins Super Regionals on Feb. 26, 2020, and advanced to the state competition.

Gray Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Public speaking can be a fearful thing for many students, but this is a crucial skill that the forensics team trains for in competitions. Forensic competition involves many different public speaking events in which individuals and teams compete against each other. The school forensics team has been performing well this year, having won the Northern Region Championship on Feb. 10 and the Super Regional Championship on Feb. 24.

Due to the pandemic, competitions take place virtually this year. Each student has 10 minutes to present their work and the top three competitors move on to the next round.

“Competitions are split into two rounds,” senior Garrett Jones said. “You’ll go into rooms based on what category you do, and you’ll perform your piece with everyone else in your category. The judges give you points and rank you based on points.”

Jones and his partner achieved first place at the regional competition in their performance for Humorous Duo interpretation. He joined the club as a sophomore and has been competing ever since.

“Our humorous duo piece is called ‘10 ways to survive life in a quarantine’ by Don Zolidis,” Jones said. “It’s essentially what it says on the box, in that it’s a comedic spin on the different ways some people are coping with being stuck at home.”

Individuals and teams put in a lot of practice to get the timing just right; however, the club members help each other get to that point. During weekly practices, the students go into breakout rooms based on their category and receive extensive feedback from peers.

“The team is super collaborative, so we also always perform for our teammates and coach and get tons of notes,” senior Maura Pelczynski said. “It’s just polishing and cutting over and over again until the piece is the best it can be.”

Pelczynski competes in the poetry interpretation event where she must prepare a program of around four to five poems to perform in front of the judges. She decided to join the team her junior year due to her love of poetry.

“I think if anyone is interested in public speaking, acting, performing or literature/poetry, forensics is so worth checking out and joining,” Pelczynski said.

For students with unique interests, there are a variety of events such as storytelling, original oratory, impromptu, prose interpretation and many more. There are a total of 10 events that students can compete in individually or in pairs.

Having won four state championships in a row, the team is preparing to potentially win this years’ state championship on March 27.

“Chantilly’s forensics team is one of the best in the whole state and that’s due to the incredible passion and support our team has,” Pelczynski said. “Everyone is so uplifting to each other and helpful, and it’s fun to watch your piece grow and evolve as you get better.”