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Highlanders win speech and debate tournament

March 2, 2019

Huntington High dominated their Speech and Debate tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Marshall University. This was the team’s sixth tournament of the year and it ended in an award sweep. They received the first-place trophy in the debate sweep and team sweep categories. Each final category included at least one Huntington High student, many receiving a top-three award.

Rebekah Nix, an 11th-grade student on the team, left the tournament with six trophies in hand. She participates in five different categories of speech and debate and she also helps coach as a student. Nix has been doing speech and debate for two and a half years at Huntington High School. “I like meeting new people and listening to pieces. It is unique, individual and inspiring.”

According to Helen Freeman, the speech and debate coach at Huntington High School and the treasurer of the state organization, the Huntington High team practices every day for at least an hour and they participate in at least one tournament per month. This allows them to further their practice while still competing in the tournaments.

Freeman has been doing speech and debate at Huntington High for 13 years and she

did four years with a middle school team previously. She enjoys doing speech and debate for many reasons. “It changes lives and most importantly, makes them competitive for the future,” said Freeman. “It boosts confidence, communication, creativity, problem solving, discipline and creative thinking.” She is also the theater teacher and director at Huntington High School.

Cassandra Hall plays a large part in speech and debate by assistant coaching the team through their practices and tournaments. She has assistant coached for two years and was a member of the team all four years of high school, with Freeman as her coach. After beginning to help the team, she says that she got attached to it. According to Hall, speech and debate improves the confidence of those who participate and she enjoys watching them have fun and get better in what they do.

The team has many more competitions this year that they will be practicing for.

Here are also the winners in the individual events:

In Broadcasting:

Katelyn Aluise — 2nd place

Zadokite Wood — 3rd place Mary Margaret Clouse — 5th place

Lilli Ramsier — 6th place

In Impromptu Speaking:

Rebekah Nix — 4th place

Madeline Mozafari — semi finalist

Smara Sigdel — semi finalist

In Extemporaneous Speaking:

Rebekah Nix — 2nd place

Smara Sigdel — 6th place

In Original Oratory:

Zadokite Wood — 3rd place

Smara Sigdel — 5th place

Rebekah Nix — 6th place

In Story Telling:

Zadokite Wood — 6th place

In Poetry Interpretation:

Lucy Skaff — 1st place and

TOP NOVICE

Fiona Rushton — 6th place

In Dramatic Interpretation:

Rebekah Nix — 1st place

Madison Vaughn — 6th place

In Pantomime:

JT Shell — 4th place

In Public Forum Debate:

The team of Chris Gooding and Katelyn Aluise — tied for 3rd place

In Lincoln Douglas Debate:

Chris Gooding — 1st place

In Prose Interpretation:

Lucy Skaff — 3rd place

In Informative Speaking:

Rebekah Nix — 2nd place

In Declamation:

Mary Margaret Clouse — 4th place

Lucy Skaff — 6th place

In Programmed Oral Interpretation:

Amiee Patrick — 5th place and Top Novice

In Duo Interpretation:

The team of Blake Johnson and Lucy Skaff — 3rd place

The team of Chance Roberts and Destiny Fry — 5th place and Top Novice

In Humorous Interpretation:

Blake Johnson — 1st place

Fiona Rushton — 3rd place

In Congressional Debate:

Tristan Patton — Best Presiding Officer

In Debate Speaker Awards:

Mia Crookshanks — 2nd place and Top Novice

Chris Gooding — 4th place

In Individual Overall Speaker Points:

Chris Gooding and Rebekah Nix — tied for 5th place