Speech and Debate kicks off season with two tournaments

Speech and Debate started off the competition season with two back-to-back tournaments and high expectations after winning state last year. 

    “I think that this team has a lot of talent and a lot of promise,” Speech and Debate co-president Baylee Melot said. “I am so excited for a year that seems to be very successful thus far.” 

    The team earned the most points of any school at the Westmoore tournament Nov. 4-5, taking home the sweepstakes winner title. The team’s successes are the result of daily practice in class and outside of school. From start to finish, the team works together to help each other improve. 

    “Practicing your pieces, memorizing your speeches, and having your teammates watch you perform and give you critiques [are how we prepare],” Melot said. “That way you learn and improve before you go to the tournament.” 

    Tournaments have fully shifted back to in-person only events this year, a big change for many of the upperclassmen who have spent the past two years competing mostly virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With senior members experiencing their first year fully in person since their freshman year and the influx of new members, this year presents a lot of new challenges for the team. To combat these challenges, the team relies on each other for support. 

    “I think it’s really just like a big family,” junior and second year competitor Lauren Kusel said. “We’re all kind of supporting each other, and it’s really just a great place to be.”

    The team continues to prepare for the upcoming Choctaw tournament on Dec. 9th and 10th. The reason for the gap between competitions is this year’s musical production, Into the Woods, which many competitors are a part of. The show opened Thursday and runs through Saturday. Tickets are $10.