Speech and Debate takes record 32 competitors to state

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Photo by Sneha Gundavarpu

Talk about eloquence.

32 competitors—a new school record—will head to the state Speech and Debate tournament this Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7.

The team’s coach, Melissa Donahue, returned to the team after a hiatus and was instrumental in shaping the team for state, according to sophomore Ananya Tawde.

“She’s been through Speech and Debate herself, and so she can relate to all these events,” Tawde said. “She can go and critique a (Lincoln Douglas Debater) if she wants; she can go help a Public Forum debate; she can even go look at a (Humorous Interpretation) or an (Original Oratory) piece and help them to better themselves and work on what they need…sometimes you take out pieces, and she (says), ‘No, no, keep those in.’ So that really helps.”

In addition to Donahue’s return, junior Dominick Peraino said both under and upperclassmen have strengthened the team through their self-motivation and practice.

“There’s a really strong underclassmen initiative that really stepped up, as well as all the juniors and seniors right now are at their prime,” Peraino said. “We’ve been doing mock debates frequently, and we’ve been working together and finding our arguments…We’ve done a lot of debate drills.”

Both Peraino and Tawde agreed that state will challenge the team due to the increased number and prowess of their competitors, but Peraino said he likes the team’s chances.

“We’ve done well at tournaments across the board this year, and we’ve had winners of their events all year long,” Peraino said. “I expect some good placings at states.”




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