Hundreds of high schoolers from across the state gather in Kearney for a state competition.
Over 1,500 students, judges and workers are competing in the two day state speech tournament at UNK this week.
Officials say like team sports, speech teaches principles like sportsmanship, competition and teamwork.
"They can take these skills, these life–long skills that they can take out into the professional world in communicating," said event director Debra Velder. "I think that's one of the things we've really got to focus on is getting kids to communicate, make that eye contact, be able to talk to another human being rather than do it through electronics."
The state speech contest wraps up Friday with classes C2, D1 and D2 across the UNK campus.