Speech and Debate will Compete at Tournaments on Nov. 12-13


Credit to Heidi Huff

Speech and debate coach Randy Pierce helps debaters on their cases. Pierce has speech and debate meetings every Tuesday and Thursday where they meet and discuss their arguments.

Both varsity and novice Speech and Debate teams are competing at two different tournaments Nov. 12-13. The novice team will be competing at Ladue High School while varsity takes on the Clayton Tournament at Clayton High School. At these tournaments, there will be debate events such as Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum and speech events like Extemporaneous Speaking, Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Oratory and Radio. 

“The Clayton Tournament is kind of the kickoff tournament for November,” Speech and Debate President Emily Gantz said. “It’s the first big tournament we have in the year.”

At the Clayton tournament, Gantz is competing in Public Forum and Informative Speaking. She expects stiff competition.

“Ladue is always a good school [and] there’s also some good speech kids from Parkway West,” Gantz said. “So, I do expect some pretty good competition from those bigger schools.”

The team is coached in all events by Speech and Debate legend Randy Pierce, who has been coaching FHN’s team for the past 10 years and coached at Pattonville High School the previous 39 years. The team is also assisted by Noah Slaughter, who graduated from North four years ago.

“They [the Clayton and Ladue coaches] have done this pairing with Ladue hosting the novices and Clayton hosting varsity for over 20 years,” Pierce said. “They do a great job of administering and hosting the tournaments.” 

The team is working hard to prepare for these tournaments. Gantz knows the energy from practices will make for a good competition.

“It can be kind of chaotic sometimes, but when we’re actually working, we’re pretty serious,” Gantz said. “We’re always bouncing ideas off of each other; there’s a lot of smart people there.”

Pierce expects great things from this year’s team at Clayton, Ladue and beyond. The next Speech and Debate tournament will be at Pattonville High School Dec. 9-10.

“It’s an exciting year with lots of new participants,” Pierce said. “We will have our challenges, but I’m looking forward to the continued growth of the team.”