The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Fluvanna Sports Photography
The 2024 Speech team in the FCHS gym on March 28.

Flucos Win 6th State Championship in Speech

The Fluvanna County Speech team took home their sixth state championship in eight years on March 23 at Dominion High School. This was the team’s third state championship in a row. There were multiple outstanding performances, with the following placing in the top three and gaining points for Fluvanna.

1st: Kessler Potter, Extemporaneous Speaking
1st: Amina Seiden, Original Oratory
1st: Angela Cumiskey, Poetry
1st: Townes Mullinex and Abby White, Serious Duo
2nd: Allison Monfalcone, Humorous Interpretation
2nd: Tomas Cruz Vega, Storytelling
3rd: Samantha Carter, Storytelling

“Overall, I felt a sense of pride,” said FCHS senior and captain Allison Monfalcone on the emotions of winning the championship. “Winning States was what we had worked for all year, and to see everyone do so well–and for the team I helped lead to succeed–was an amazing experience,” she added.

The team’s season started back in the fall. It was a long and challenging season for these Flucos, but it appears that their work paid off.

“We started competing in late October and working on our pieces in August, so it was more of a gradual preparation with the overall goal of getting to and competing in States,” said FCHS sophomore Maddy Cavanaugh.

Coach Craig Edgerton, who is in his 12th year of coaching the Speech team at FCHS, said the team continues to build on its own strengths. “The key to our success is the quality of our team members, especially our captains. I couldn’t be more proud of how our team worked together and our captains worked to ensure everyone grows. My goal was never to win. My goal was, and is, to help each student be the best that they can possibly be.”

Edgerton added, “Every year brings new challenges, but the expectations never change. Each student has to ask themselves, ‘What do I want to accomplish?’ and ‘What do I need to do to get there?’ Once they know that, then the captains get to work to help each other.”

What is it like competing in Speech? “My category deals with current events, and it’s interesting to see how other people feel about what’s going on in the world today. In addition, all of our speeches are prepped and written in half an hour, so seeing how people think on their feet and retain their confidence even when they have no clue what they are talking about is very inspiring,” said senior Kessler Potter.

Potter added that ”Everyone on the team has their unique energy, but we’ve spent so long together that we know how to feed off of each other and keep energy levels high. Everyone is also very supportive of everyone else, so when results come in, there’s a lot of cheering each other on.”

This competition had one major difference for students competing in Extemporaneous Speaking. The competitors were not allowed to view who they were competing against, which was a first. “It really made me more nervous. I’m used to watching my competitors and comparing my speech to theirs, but this competition I was going in completely blind,” said Potter. “All my team members got to see their competitor’s piece and how the judges reacted, but I was going off what my competitors said. When awards happened, I was on the edge of my seat, especially when my biggest competition got second,” she added.

In addition to winning the state’s team award, Fluvanna also earned the 2013-2023 NSDA Leading Chapter Award for Excellence in Speech and Debate. Coach Edgerton won the 2024 NFHS Outstanding Speech Educator Award for Section 2, which includes the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

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