A talk with the Hills: Sitting down with Chagrin’s very own Speech State Champions


Chagrin Falls continued its dynasty this year as it took home its 3rd state win in duo interpretation. 

Nathan and Ryan Hill, the winners, took home first place honors after an exciting tournament. The Hills are close friends of mine, so I knew I had to sit down with them to get a closer look into their tournament experience.

 Ryan Hill explained the DUO’s expectations coming into the season: “Our main goal this year was, first off, to have a good time.” 

The brothers have been on a speech team since freshman year and have dealt with many covid complications in recent seasons. 

“This was another challenging year of virtual competitions for the Cleveland district, we knew we would have to work our hardest,” Ryan continued. 

As they began the season, performing their speech almost every weekend at tournaments, states were not in the cards. 

“We wanted to go as far as we could, I guess we just went farther than we thought,”  he continued.

The speech category of speech and debate focuses on taking an excerpt from a piece of published work and condensing it into a ten minutes performance. In the Hills case, they performed it as a duo, with the parameters of not being able to touch one another or make eye contact. 

“For our speech, we took an excerpt from season three episode of the show ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ we performed that for the entire year, every round, every competition, and that’s what got us the win,” explained Nathan Hill. 

The tournament was a long and grueling experience. 

“It consisted of three rounds on the first night, followed by one round the next morning and then the quarter and semifinals, and then the finals, all two hours apart,” Nathan added. 

The brothers performed their speech every round and took home the win after the final round. Fellow Chagrin team members Grace Hoy and Eric Feucht who won states in 2021 took home fourth this year.

“They did a piece that’s much more focused on dramatic aspects, that’s what helped them win,” said Nathan. 

The Hills came out following Grace and Eric’s performance and used their acting talents to their advantage.

“What helped us was that we really gave it our which helped with the comedy, the judges really liked it,” continued Ryan. 

It was an emotional and memorable experience for the Hills, as they spoke they couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces.

“I think I can speak for both of us when I say that It was crazy and awesome, and probably as of now, the achievement in my life I am most proud of,” Ryan proudly stated. 

In the final moments of the competition live stream, as the judges announced the  second place winners and the Hills won, they embraced each other and the Chagrin team screams could be heard throughout the auditorium. It was a uniting moment for the program and the team of twins. 

“It’s a special achievement to have for the school, but an even better one to have as brothers,” Ryan finished.