Eagan Speech Team Attends Tournament of Champions


Aaron Lutz and Jason Scheller pose at TOC Courtesy of Aaron Lutz

Carson Powell, Co-Editor in Chief

Eagan doesn’t always send competitors to the national speech Tournament of Champions. The annual invitational speech event in Lexington, Kentucky brings the best debaters and speakers in the country together for head-to-head competition.

But this past weekend Nautica Flowers, Emma Zellmer, Aaron Lutz, and Jason Scheller were among the 1,300 students from more than 32 states chosen to attend the tournament.

This competition was much harder than others earlier in the season. At many local tournaments, people participate only to improve their skills and drop out. At the Tournament of Champions, the students don’t get that luxury. “Everyone is of the highest caliber there,” senior Aaron Lutz said. “You need to be constantly on your game.”

The qualifications to attend TOC vary from category to category. For the most part, it involves doing well at what is called a national circuit tournament, in which students from multiple states compete. If you go far in the tournament, you can receive a bid to the TOC. “These bids kind of tell the tournament ‘Hey, I’m a champion and I’m ready to compete with other champions,’ ” junior Jason Scheller said.

We’ve been doing pretty well this season so we just treated this one like we would any. It worked out in our favor.”

— Aaron Lutz

Given the difficulty of this tournament, you would think there would be special preparation for the weekend, but this wasn’t the case. “I mean if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Lutz said. “We’ve been doing pretty well this season so we just treated this one like we would any. It worked out in our favor.”

Lutz and Scheller made it to quarterfinals in extemporaneous speaking, competing against more than 100 contestants. Lutz finished 20th and Scheller finished 23rd.

For Lutz and Scheller, the season didn’t end in Kentucky. Both will also compete in the Grand National Tournament in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend this year, where they will once again compete against students from across the country. Wish them luck!