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Park Profiles: Cash Givens

Stories featuring people in and around our community doing their ordinary but extraordinary things.
Cash+Givens+adjusts+the+tie+of+his+duo+interpretation+partner%2C+Jerome+Maynard%2C+at+the+Winter+Classic+tournament.+
Jana Schodzinski
Cash Givens adjusts the tie of his duo interpretation partner, Jerome Maynard, at the Winter Classic tournament.

Wheeling Park High School is known for many achievements scholastically. Among the most notable is our speech team, which has won the state tournament 43 years in a row. Speech consists of many different types of events, some of which include extemporaneous speaking, impromptu interpretation, and duo interpretation. One student who has excelled in all three of these categories is Cash Givens, a sophomore here at Park. 

Many kids on the speech team agree that the team is like a family. No matter what events they do or how they place, they all rely on each other to succeed at tournaments. 

“Speech, to me, is all about tournaments, really. Usually, it’s also about the team and what we can all pull off together. Even if I were to win, if no one else did, it wouldn’t feel like a win to me,” said Givens. 

Since the speech team can be very stressful, before tournaments, the team often has bonding parties. During these parties, the team gets together to get closer together and hype each other up for the tournaments. 

“I really like them because we get to have a lot of fun and play games. They usually only happen before big tournaments, but when they do happen, they’re great,” said Givens. 

In speech, there are many different kinds of speeches to perform at tournaments. Givens currently does three types of speeches and has placed in each one. 

“I’m in mostly extemporaneous speaking, but I’ve also done impromptu, which is basically making it up on the spot, as well as duo, where I perform with my partner Jerome. We’ve gotten pretty far with that, but extemp is easily the one I’ve gone farthest in,” said Givens. 

Speech kids typically try to avoid extemporaneous speaking due to its uniquely difficult rules and guidelines. In extemporaneous speaking, or ‘extemp’, you are given a random political question and 30 minutes to create a speech answering it. It should include numerous news sources and overall organization and creativity despite the short amount of time. Despite these challenges, Givens has made great progress at tournaments doing the event; however, it is not his favorite.

If I could give my past self any advice before trying out for the team, it would be, ‘Don’t sound too smart, or you’ll be put in extemporaneous speaking’

— Cash Givens

“Personally, my favorite event is probably impromptu, even though it’s not one I’ve had to do a whole not. I enjoy getting to take things into what they make me feel rather than how they are politically, which is usually what extemp revolves around,” said Givens. 

The team has been working hard this year to continue its 43-year state winning streak. They are now getting into their busiest time of the year as they move on to bigger and bigger tournaments.

“We have gone to four total tournaments so far. I have gotten two first places, two second places, and a fourth place. If I could give my past self any advice before trying out for the team, it would be, ‘Don’t sound too smart, or you’ll be put in extemporaneous speaking’. Road to 44!” said Givens. 

As you can tell, the speech team is a great experience overall and has seen great success so far this year. As the season goes by, make sure to tell your favorite ‘speechies’ good luck at their tournaments!

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About the Contributor
Jana Schodzinski, Business Manager
  • BusinesJournalism II
  • Sophomore
  • Community theater, Park Players, Speech and Debate Team, baking and cooking
  • Keep It Schodzinski Sweetheart
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