Brookfield Central Forensics speaks its heart out


Aparna Jayashankar

The BCHS Forensics team awaits the awards ceremony at the state competition at UW-Whitewater.

While most people have a fear of public speaking, the Brookfield Central Forensics team travels to tournaments every weekend to present their pieces in front of large audiences. After winning prizes at every tournament, they competed at the state tournament April 1, performing spectacularly and ending the season on a high note.

The competition was held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater by the Wisconsin Forensics Coaches Association. Over one thousand students arrived from all areas of Wisconsin to compete. The team was in for a long day, starting at 5:00 a.m. and returning at 10:00 p.m. However, the team didn’t let that affect their positive spirit as they conquered their categories. Siddarth Kulkarni (‘19), Hana Li (‘19), Aafreen Sajid (‘19), Victoria Lopez (‘18), Arnav Bhat (‘17), and Sophie LaRose (‘19) were all semifinalists. Aparna Jayashankar (‘18) was a finalist, placing 6th in the state.

While winning awards certainly provides motivation and feels exhilarating, the most important part is the experience for the team. Forensics speakers are able to choose from a variety of different categories to compete in, from extemporaneous speaking and moments in history to oratorical declamation and solo humorous. LaRose, who participates in Farrago- a category consisting of prose and poetry- reflected on her category says, “I enjoy it because it gives speakers the opportunity to express their ideas about relevant issues in an artistic manner.”

For Zara Ammar (’20), her first season on the Forensics team was an amazing experience, and she reflects that “It definitely helped me learn how to refine my public speaking skills, give and receive constructive criticism, and gain more confidence. We would often support each other by watching our teammates perform at power rounds [which are similar to finals and semifinals] and sometimes celebrate our team’s victories by going out to eat somewhere together”.

While it is true Forensics provides lifelong public speaking skills and builds confidence in high school students, the team spirit that is embedded in teammates is what sticks with them forever. As Kulkarni recalls, “The rush that I get when I’m presenting, and the satisfaction when people applaud makes the agonizing process of writing and memorizing a speech all worthwhile. But most of all, I think I have made some great friendships over the years through Forensics and that tops it all.”

The state tournament marked the end to a great season, and the Brookfield Central Forensics team cannot wait to return and accomplish even more next year.