Speech and debate team finishes third at State

Three students qualify for the finals in their categories


Anne Crabtree

A poster in the main hallway in Kelly provided a good luck message to the speech and debate team.

Anne Crabtree, Reporter

Even with all the Covid-19 precautions, the speech and debate continued its season by participating in the State Finals on March 13, finishing third overall as a team.  

Of the 13 students who were in the quarterfinals, six went on to the semifinal rounds and three competed in the final round of their event.

Students who competed in the semifinals included senior Andrew de las Alas, international extemporaneous and impromptu; junior Lendon Byram, international extemporaneous; freshman Julia Hurley, broadcasting; sophomore Izzy Tompkins, drama; junior Victory Sampson, drama; and junior Janiah Reese, poetry.

Going on to the finals were Hurley, who finished fourth in the state; Reese, fourth place; and Byrum, sixth place.

State wasn’t the last of the speech and debate team, as there are still Nationals in June. Sampson and de las Alas are qualified to participate, though others may be do so as well as the season progresses. 

Mrs. Jeanne Malone, head coach of the speech and debate team, described the team as “tenacious” although there were many setbacks. Malone said, “This has been a challenge for everyone. Students who were used to performing for an audience are performing to a screen.” 

Because of the pandemic, Malone said that many returning students did not come back to compete. 

Senior Lauren Dubbink, a team captain, said, “We rely so much on our varsity members to help teach the freshmen. The responsibility fell solely on the captains and we had to start reaching out to juniors and sophomores. It was to the point where new members on the team were teaching people on the team.”

The team did not let this stop them, though. The speech and debate team placed in the top five at all nine regular season meets and won two. 

Malone said, “The future looks really bright with all of these freshmen. We had a terrific year and I’m very proud of our team.”