Speech and Debate Competes in Jefferson City


By Audrey Baker, Yearbook Copy Editor

On Friday, Jan. 27, members of the speech and debate team packed their bags and headed to the state capital to compete in what has been deemed the most difficult tournament of the year, the Jefferson City tournament. The tournament attracts schools from every corner of the state, which means the competition is much more difficult than the average St. Louis tournament that they typically compete in.

“The Jefferson City tournament is always interesting because we get to see schools from the other side of Missouri that we normally don’t get to compete against such as teams from Springfield and Kansas City,” senior Bryce Fletcher said. “Those schools are really good at interpretation events, so it’s nice to see how we compare to them.”

The team ate 4A lunch on Friday and boarded the bus to the capital immediately after lunch. They arrived at the hotel at around 1 p.m. and went to the school to start warming up for the tournament at around 2 p.m. Being the only overnight tournament of the year, many students were excited to spend the night on Friday with their team members.

“I like the overnight trips because you get a lot of opportunities throughout the trip to bond with your teammates and really get to know them,” junior Jamie Sneed said.

Due to the abnormally large amount of entries, competitors had to do extremely well in order to break to the semi-final and final rounds for their events. In the majority of speech events, competitors had to rank first or second in each of their preliminary rounds in order to move on. Several team members such as sophomore Riley Lawson, freshman Tom Jamison, and seniors Bryce Fletcher and Audrey Baker broke to the semi-final rounds in their speech events. Lawson came in first place overall in his event, Program Oral Interpretation, and Jamison came in sixth place overall in his event, Storytelling.

“It was cool to be able to compete at a tournament I remember getting my butt kicked at last year and doing a lot better than I did then,” sophomore Riley Lawson said.