Speech and Debate Team Hosts Annual Tournament at FHN


At the Speech and Debate tournament, signs were hung around the school to inform competitors of rules. (file photo)

By Sarah Zimmerman

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Speech and Debate Team swapped roles as they hosted their annual tournament with Troy Buchanan instead of competing. After weeks of preparation, the tournament day arrived, and the team was ready to work.

“I think it was, especially for the novices and those that it’s only their second year of Speech and Debate, very eye opening for them by learning how much work goes into it,” senior Speech and Debate President Caitlind Walker said. “I think they appreciated it a lot more.”

Not only did the tournament show the novices how the backend of the tournament ran, but it was also a new experience for many of the novice members.

“It was hard, but it was fun,” junior novice Aslee Addison said. “It was interesting. Since this is my first year of Speech and Debate, I’ve never done this before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.”

While Addison only helped on the tournament day, members of the team also assisted in running the tournament by preparing before the event. Tasks that had to be completed in advance included contacting schools, managing money, developing a room matrix, getting judges, organizing a hospitality room and much more. However the tournament was not only an enlightening experience for novices, but the tournament was also an important fundraiser for the club.

“It was a stressful experience as it always is, but it was worth it,” Walker said. “It was actually a lot of fun being able to go in and see everybody that’s going to be competing at the tournament, organizing for it and making sure we’re going to have everything we’re going to need for it because it’s a huge fundraiser for Speech and Debate. It’s really worthwhile to make sure we can go to cool tournaments like Jeff City.”

Fortunately, all of the stress and preparation for the tournament paid off when the tournament ran smoothly.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support of our entire team,” sophomore Uma Upamaka said. “Everybody put in a small part, and that, in turn, led to a really successful tournament… It was very satisfying. After you see the entire thing come together, it’s sort of like a good ending to it. It makes all the work you put into it worth it.”