Schieler’s second place finish

Senior Braxton Schieler takes second place at his first speech tournament of the season.


Braxton Schieler photographed at Grant Community High School during speech competition.

The speech team’s season at Antioch Community High School has officially kicked off. With this being senior Braxton Schieler‘s first year on the team, he is off to a successful start. Schieler earned second place at his first ever speech tournament on Jan. 7, at Grant Community High School.

Speech has a variety of different events that contestants can compete in such as, improv, argumentative and poetry. Schieler competed in the original oratory event, and made it through all three rounds. Original oratory contestants have to prepare an eight minute long speech, and argue about a topic they are passionate about.

In Schieler’s case, he argued about how as an introvert he understands how much they can accomplish, and the impact introverts can have on those around them.

“[The speech] was about how quiet kids can bring some things to the table that aren’t necessarily thought about in the typical school context where collaboration and speaking is something really valued,” Schieler said.

Along with Schieler’s talent for speaking, he has several other qualities that separate him from the rest of the speech competitors. Schieler has been described as hardworking, determined and intelligent by his peers.

“[Schieler] is a very articulate, intelligent young man, and he’s got a great voice that you want to listen to,” head speech coach Wanda Teddy said. “Everyone talks about his composure and the way he speaks with confidence in his topic.”

While giving a speech, confidence, body language, eye contact and word choice have a large impact on the delivery. Constant practice and rehearsal makes the speech sound more confident and come across more smoothly. Teddy observed Schieler taking time to practice and repeatedly rehearse his speech.

“[Schieler] is very hard working,” Teddy said. “He doesn’t stop, even when we were on winter break he was in Indiana rehearsing in a shed and watching videos of National qualifiers.”

Even with all of the practices and rehearsals, Schieler still experienced the common nerves before competing. His teammate, senior Alex Salmi, who has competed in speech competitions before, was by Schieler’s side all day providing him with advice on what to look out for, and what to do while delivering the speech. Along with offering advice, Salmi was there during a special moment for Schieler.

“My favorite memory from the competition was definitely seeing his face when Ms. Teddy told him that he had made it to the final round,” Salmi said.

The opportunities for Schieler and the speech team are endless. Being able to speak their minds and argue about their passions is something special that Schieler has learned to appreciate while on the team.

“It’s cool to see kids going out and advocating for something they are passionate about,” Schieler said. “If you have a passion and you have a voice, it’s a great opportunity.”