Speech and Debate Advance in Competitions

By danielleworsham

Speechteam
The Speech and Debate team poses at the MSHSAA District Competition (photo submitted)

Since the beginning of the school year, the speech and debate team has been to several competitions and tournaments and has, overall, done well in terms of placing. Because of the team’s success, they will be advancing into the post-season.

The first competition of the team’s post-season was the MSHSAA district competition on Feb. 28. lasting through Mar. 1 at Parkway South. At the district tournament, the team competed for spots in the MSHSAA state competition. As part of the competition, several members were placed into one group to perform and event, while some members performed in their event alone.

“My favourite part of the competition was working with my team and having good performances,” sophomore Marygrace Cole said.

Students did so well at the competition that a school-record of 18 students will advance to the MSHSAA State Competition at the University of Missouri. The team’s biggest success at the district competition was the Reader’s Theatre group, which included 16 team members, and finished in first place. Other individuals qualified for state with their performances including Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry, Storytelling, and International Extemporaneous Speaking. According, to Poetry reader Gabby Jones, this year’s placings is significantly bigger than last year’s.

“I think it’s really cool because last year only about three students made it to the state competition,” Jones said. “This year, it’ll be really fun since almost the entire team is going.”

In order to prepare for the state competition, the team is practicing rigorously. To prepare for the competition’s events, members have been having work nights, where they stay after school and go over their pieces several times. Coaches Jordyn Klackner, Randy Pierce, and Theresa Maher have been helping members improve their performances by informing students what needs improvement and encouraging members to work on their pieces outside of school.

“When we stay after school, we go over our pieces about 100 times so we know them really well,” Jones said. “All the coaches have been really helpful in making sure we are fully prepared.”