Note: The following was submitted by the Central High School forensics team. — DH
It is perhaps fitting that the Westosha Central Forensics Team has adopted the slogan “Not Just for Dead People.” After changes to the coaching staff and a large number of new members, Central Forensics is very much alive and winning.
The season began back in November for members, but around September, Central High School began their search for a new head coach for the Forensics Team. Prior head coach, Dana Marty, moved on to another opportunity, and assistant coach, Aaron McTavish, became the IT director for Central High School. Both were left unable to continue with the team, and it became clear that the positions would be challenging to fill.
When the dust settled, a Central English teacher expressed interest in the position. A relatively new hire at Central, Michael Cyzak stepped into the role. “I had worked briefly with the forensics team at Bradford High School in Kenosha, but always kept an eye out for a more connected role” said Cyzak. “When the opportunity arose at Central, I felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved.”
After the appointment, Jennifer Neuman, another Central English teacher, was added to the roster of existing coaches Debra Nicolo and Heidi Zavacke. With the mentoring of past coach “Bernie” Elverman, the team was primed and ready.
“Recruitment went smooth, the kids were excited from the start, and we have seen phenomenal commitment from the team. There is nothing but excitement here” said Cyzak.
“46 Central students make up the roster of the Forensics team. They range from freshman to seniors, but it is a challenge to tell them apart at times. We have seen the newer members encouraged by veteran members to practice more and harder. It really is great to see everyone pushing so hard for individual and team success.”
After the team took home 5 medals for exceptionally high scores, and numerous ribbons at the Wisconsin Lutheran Festival on January 25th, the team looked ahead to their home tournament, the first of the year in their conference.
The Central Forensics team took took home a 1st place team trophy on Saturday, February 1st at their home tournament. Winning individual honors were the following: Maria Salerno, 1st place in Prose; Leah Holloway, 1st place in special occasion; Jared Holloway, a 2nd place in extemp; Matthew Holloway, Sam Keller, Jaret Schroeder, and Sam Bear, 1st place in play acting; Shane Shane McNealy, 2nd place in Four Minute; Mike Hibbard, 2nd place in Oratory; Becca Lamp, 2nd place in storytelling; Savannah Floore, Alexis Lamp, and Holly Schaal, 2nd in play acting; and Ryan Laffin, finalist in public address.
The Forensics Team captured another 1st place team trophy Saturday, February 8th at the Waterford Tournament. Individual honors were also won by: Leah Holloway, 1st place in special occasion; Becca Lamp, 1st place in storytelling; Jared Holloway, 2nd place in extemp; Michael Hibbard, 2nd place in Oratory; Savannah Floore, Holly Schaal, and Alexis Lamp, 2nd place in play acting; Chelsea Gerber, Haley Gorsuch and Veronica Bursek-Krekling, 2nd place in group interp; Lacie Schroeder, 3rd place in Farrago; Anna Walthier, 3rd place in four minute; Kaitlyn Gorsuch and Shelby Miller, 3rd place in group interp; Brooklyn Carlson, 3rd place in storytelling; Shane McNealy, finalist in four minute; Sam Bear, Sam Keller, Matthew Holloway and Jaret Schroeder, finalists in play acting; Mackenzie Bevry, finalist in prose. Brad Gillmore, finalist in radio; and Lisa Landry, Vanessa Tim and Arielle Zamba, finalist in group interp.
The Forensics Team captured a 3rd place team trophy Saturday, February 15th at the Delavan Tournament out of 32 teams. At this tournament, different regulations make competition particularly difficult. Despite the strong competition and challenging circumstances, individual honors were also won by: Jared Holloway, 1st place in Extemporaneous; Anna Walthers, 3rd place in Four Minute; Becca Lamp, 3rd place in Storytelling; George Capelli, finalist in Radio; and Leah Holloway, finalist in Special Occasion.
At this point, the Central Forensics team is poised for a strong showing at District in Mukwonago on Saturday, March 15 since all team members made the cut for Sub-District on the 27th of February in Burlington. The 15th of March will determine individual cut-scores for further competition at state level competition for the season. The roster for District is as follows: Aemisegger, Kim; Baer, Samuel; Bevry, Mackenzie; Bursek-krekling, Veronica; Capelli, George; Carlson, Brooklyn; Coomans, Delaney; Floore, Savannah; Freels, Noble; Gerber, Chelsey; Gillmore, Brad; Gorsuch, Haley; Gorsuch, Kaitlyn; Gravely, Lucas; Hibbard, Michael; Holloway, Jared; Holloway, Leah; Holloway, Matthew; Horner, Brittany; Keller, Sam; LaBoy Rodriguez, S.; Lamp, Alexis; Lamp, Rebecca; Landry, Lisa; McClain, Jackie; McNealy, Shane; Menken, Victoria; Miller, Shelby; Salerno, Maria; Schaal, Holly; Schroeder, Jaret; Schroeder, Lacie; Tym, Vanessa; Walther, Anna; Young, Jennifer; Zamba, Arielle.
The team will also come together for the conference invitational to compete again for team and individual honors. The conference team is as follows for the event on Thursday, March 20th in Elkhorn: Aemisegger, Kim; Baer, Samuel; Bevry, Mackenzie; Bursek-krekling, Veronica; Capelli, George; Carlson, Brooklyn; Coomans, Delaney; Floore, Savannah; Freels, Noble; Gerber, Chelsey; Gillmore, Brad; Gorsuch, Haley; Gorsuch, Kaitlyn; Gravely, Lucas; Hibbard, Michael; Holloway, Jared; Holloway, Leah; Holloway, Matthew; Horner, Brittany; Keller, Sam; Laffin, Ryan; Lamp, Alexis; Lamp, Rebecca; Landry, Lisa; McNealy, Shane; Menken, Victoria; Miller, Shelby; Ortloff, Emily; Salerno, Maria; Schaal, Holly; Schroeder, Jaret; Schroeder, Lacie; Tym, Vanessa; Walther, Anna; Young, Jennifer; and Zamba, Arielle. Alternates: Victoria Salerno, Jackie McClain, Savannah La Boy-Rodriguez, Kenny Horner.
Said Coach Cyzak:
“I can’t say enough about the support of the team, my coaches, the community, and the other teams. I could not have hoped for a better season so far, and it would not have been realized without the help of so many others. The team is only as good as it’s parts, and we have some phenomenal parts!”