Speech and Debate Successfully End Season

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Speech and Debate Successfully End Season

By McKayla Bogda, North Star staff

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This year, the FHN Speech and Debate team has had some successes and some disappointments, but in the end they have four students, three being novices, going to nationals and one student going to state.

“We had a great season, with four students going to nationals this year, which is more than last year,” head coach Joelle Sanders said.

This year there were some novices who excelled, so the team hopes they can build on that next year. The team ended on a high note by having more students make it to nationals this year than last year when only one advanced. Additionally, last year, three students and the Readers Theater team made it to state.

“We didn’t do as well as last year,” Pryor said. “But it is different people, we just didn’t do as well as a team.”

Riley qualified for nationals in performance oral interpretation, senior Zoe Lawson made it in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and juniors Bryce Fletcher and Audrey Baker made it in duo interpretation. Senior Priscilla Joel made it to state in storytelling. State will be April 22-23 at Missouri State University and nationals will be June 11-18 in Salt Lake City.

“[The best part of this year was] having Priscilla make state for her second year in a row,” Sanders said.

State and nationals are two separate events that are not related to each other. State is put on by MSHSAA. To qualify for state the students compete at a district competition, where generally the top two in each category make it to state. Nationals is coordinated by the National Speech and Debate Association, which offers opportunities for students to compete with other students across the nation. To qualify for nationals, students go to one competition and the top two-to-four in each category make it to nationals.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to compete at the national level because I have heard that the people there are very devoted to speech and debate,” Riley said.

Speech and debate is a student-run club with Speech and Debate teacher Joelle Sanders and Randy Pierce, assistant coach and retired speech teacher from Pattonville, as their sponsors. The season starts in September and districts are in March. The team generally goes to two competitions a month, and they are usually two day events. The team practices Monday, Tuesday and Thursday every week during the season.

“I’m looking forward to building off of this year and doing even better next year,” Pryor said.