Speech Team from PSC is the Top Team in the Nation


Prairie State College’s National Champion Forensics Team: (from left to right) Jimmie Johnson, Coach Dave Naze, Thaddaeus Carr, and Terrance Clanton. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– We are the champions.

The Prairie State College (PSC) Forensics Team can proudly sing the Queen classic. The team was recently crowned National Forensics Champions in the small school division at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Portland, Ore. Approximately 70 schools with a combined 420 students competed for the national title in three divisions.

“We are so excited about our accomplishment,” said Dave Naze, who coaches the team with Elighie Wilson and Ed Schwarz. “This is our speech program’s first national championship.”

In addition to the team’s overall win, Thaddaeus Carr, of Olympia Fields, also made team history. For the first time ever, a PSC forensics student placed in every event he or she competed in at the national tournament. Carr won bronze medals in three categories: Prose Interpretation, Informative Speaking, and Speech to Entertain. Because Carr placed in three events at the national tournament, he is among the top performers in the country.

“I am happy that my individual success helped my team win the national championship,” said Carr, who also represented PSC at nationals last season. “Because we won the tournament as a team, it is greater than any individual award that I could have won on my own.”

Jimmie Johnson, of Matteson, also won a bronze medal in Informative Speaking.

“Getting the accolades was great, but the overall experience at nationals is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Johnson. “How we bonded as a team is the reason why we came out on top.”

Also contributing to the team’s overall win at nationals is Terrance Clanton, of Richton Park, who will return to the team next season.

“I enjoy being part of forensics. It taught me how to develop my communication skills and to express my views,” said Clanton. “I look forward to bringing more success to the team next season.”

Even though Carr, Johnson, and Clanton represented PSC’s team at the national tournament, the national championship title belongs to the entire forensics team. Along with the guidance of their coaches, the team supported each other throughout the season by peer coaching and providing input on each other’s performances.

“We had three truly talented and dedicated individuals to represent the team at nationals,” said Naze. “And while they certainly have had their share of individual success, to have won a national championship as a team is something that we as a program can take with us forever.”