The Choteau High School speech and drama team will begin action after the holiday break by attending the Great Falls Central Catholic High School meet on Saturday, Jan. 11.

“The Great Falls Central meet will be a tough one for the speech kids,” head coach Cody Marney said. “Multiple schools from the AA divisions will be there.” Marney added that this will only make the B/C speech teams better, as those AA schools typically compete year-round in various competitions. The coach said the drama team will have their own competition as well, as they continue to compete against students they will see at the divisional tournament in a couple weeks.

All 13 team members from Choteau will be attending. “It’s nice to finish the year with a couple close meets,” Marney said.

As it stands now, there will be 19 teams with 150 competitors at the GFCC meet. The Choteau team is looking forward to competing against Capital High from Helena, CMR and Great Falls High.

After GFCC, Choteau will have one division meet in Simms before they are off to divisionals in Shelby. “Looking at the team as a whole, they are consistently sitting in the top half when it comes to placings,” said Marney. “If we can keep this momentum and stay focused on the end game, we should be able to travel with the entire team to the state meet in Bigfork.”

The top six placers from divisionals move on to continue competing.

The Choteau team is also busy planning for the Speech and Drama Expo slated for Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Choteau High School auditorium. “This has become such a fun annual event,” Marney said. “The kids get to present their pieces for the community without the competition aspect. It’s also a great opportunity for the community to see what these kids have chosen to do as an extracurricular sport. All of the students will present their pieces, including the short prep competitors.”

Marney said he and the team want to help the supporters in Choteau and the surrounding areas understand exactly what goes into public speaking competitions. “Most people are not born with the ability to present well, and this program helps guide and teach them how, with the added fun of competing every weekend,” he said.

Admission to the expo will be by free-will donation, with the funds being used to purchase new scripts, competition supplies, home meet supplies and national qualifier related costs.