Vocal Vikings make the rounds

Speech team competed at, hosted events last month

The Vocal Vikings, Del Mar’s speech and debate team, had a busy February.

Throughout February, the team competed at three tournaments in different cities, while also hosting the local and annual Speech on the Beach.

On the first weekend, the team headed to College Station to compete, where team member Katy Babbit earned a fifth place award in poetry. The following weekend they traveled to Tyler, where Hunter Frost faced the top debater in Texas as a semi-finalist and came within just one point of winning.

On the third weekend the team prepared to host, as well as compete in, Speech on the Beach, a speech tournament held at Del Mar College. Del Mar College, in conjunction with San Jacinto College North, hosted 12 schools, including University of Texas at Austin, University of Louisiana at LaFayette and Texas State University.

Members get the opportunity to travel to new states, cities and college campuses all while learning and developing skills in critical thinking, speaking and speech writing, as well as teamwork and competition skills.

Any student enrolled at Del Mar is welcome to join the Vocal Vikings, regardless of major or reason.

“Sometimes students join the team to improve their communication skills. Some students participated in this event in high school and loved it and want to continue in the activity. Some students are talented in drama or in speaking and are looking for exposure and an opportunity to get a scholarship to a four-year university,” said Sarah Contreras, professor of speech and leader of the Vocal Vikings.

No experience is necessary to join the team.

“The team believes that the overall experience and growth of the participants is more important than the number of trophies won,” Contreras said.

The Vocal Vikings have a lot of fun, but they also work really hard.

“Attending speech tournaments is fun, but it is also educational, inspirational, and tiring to boot,” Contreras said. Students of the club love the ability to make friends from other schools, as well as getting to compete against these top-notch colleges.

“These students are intelligent and articulate beyond measure and my students like being included in that description,” Contreras said.

Students train with their coaches before tournaments, and then are constantly busy during competition weeks.

“One student was just telling me that they go to the gym before classes every day, and that doesn’t come close to the exhaustion they feel following a tournament. They told me they didn’t realize how much mental exhaustion was a real thing,” Contreras said.

The Vocal Vikings team mission is “to travel, compete, network, and learn about teamwork.” The best way to know if this club is the right fit for you is to try it out for yourself.

For more information, contact Contreras at slcontrer@delmar.edu.

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