By Linda Su,
According to Speech and Debate coach Janine Widman, the team had not had a competition at home for about eight to 10 years. Due to this, the team was very excited. “This was a big chance for our high school to have some recognition in the debate field,” Widman said.
Students prepared for this big day by practicing their speeches and debate topics early on. “We’ve been working really hard all winter, so we are hoping to place well,” sophomore Kate Gieschen said.
Gieschen said that this is her first year on varsity, and although she didn’t place in finals, the tournament served as a great practice for State Qualifiers.
This event also allowed parents of team members to gain insight into what their kids have been working on and spending hours to prepare for.
Also, just to have our parents and parent groups to come in and see what their kids are doing [is exciting],” Widman said.
Various events occurred throughout the whole tournament. Each classroom had parent volunteers who judged competitors. Students were placed in different sessions, and when they were not competing, they were able to watch some of their teammates’ speeches.
Students picked their tournament topics beforehand; events ranged from impromptu to expository speech.
Sophomores Penny and Annie Zheng said that this was their first tournament, and they each performed dramatic interpretation, which involved acting as well as speaking.
“I spent most of my time memorizing the speech, and just this week I added the blocking (actions). My speech was about how I stole my neighbors dog, and it later on gets run over by a car,” Annie Zheng said.
After 12 long hours, the tournament came to a close. Participants convened in the dance room for the ceremony. Winners were announced, and trophies were awarded to first through third place.
A few DHS team members were finalists and received recognition. Junior Camila Ortiz placed second for Dramatic Interpretation; seniors Emma McElroy and Han-ah Sumner placed sixth for Duo interpretation; junior Logan James placed eleventh for Impromptu.