A Dazzling Speech and Debate Tournament

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Helen Huang, Staff Reporter

The speech and debate team did extremely well in their tournament on October 8th, adding to their overall achievement of this year’s season. They earned a whooping total of 39 awards from two competitions by the time the results were figured out.

In Novice Debate, four teams participated in Public Forum: those of Hudson Habermehl and Sean Hellar (undefeated), Rebecca Bendzick and Tommy Hubbard (undefeated), Tatyana Woods and Dylan Deen, and Kaitlin Rauh and Jocelyn Talavera. Tatyana, Dylan, Kaitlin, and Jocelyn, along with the team of Sydney Sherk and Haylie Hawkins, were in 3W-1L. Sydney and Haylie rounded it off with their contribution in Parliamentary Team Debate.

The Novice Speech students came on strong, with 3 first-place trophies and the top four awards in Original Prose and Poetry. In first place in Duo Interpretation were Hudson Habermehl and Sean Hellar. Hunter Bos scored first place for Humorous Interpretation, with Tatyana Woods coming in second. For Original Prose and Poetry, we had Dylan Deen (first place), Jocelyn Talavera (second), Natalia Jovovich (third), and Haley Burke (fourth). Kelsey Bechler placed third in Dramatic Interpretation; Robert Esty in second for Oratorical Interpretation; Tommy Hubbard was third for Original Advocacy; Kaitlin Rauh in fifth for Expository Speaking; and Mark Mikityuk and Rebekah Kassardijian were fifth and sixth in Original Oratory, respectively.

There were two debaters for Varsity Debate. Jonathan Davies took second in Super Congress, and Sequoia Porter was seventh in the same category.

Varsity Speech did an impressive job! More than half of the finalists in

Original Advocacy and Original Prose and Poetry were from Woodcreek. Jonathan Davies won first place in the Expository Speaking competition. In Advocacy, there was Amy Sommercamp (first), Brandon Bechler (second), Julia Chin (third), Sydney Sherk (fifth), and Sequoia Porter (sixth). For Prose and Poetry, we had Haylie Hawkins in first, Sophie Ceja (third), Savannah Rice (sixth), and Kayleigh Porter (seventh). Sydney Sherk entered twice in Varsity Speech, also placing fourth in Dramatic Interpretation. Last but not least, we had Tata Blas taking sixth in Impromptu Speaking and seventh in Oratorical Interpretation.

Woodcreek has had a brilliant speech and debate team for a long, long time. The secret to their success isn’t complicated—at least according to freshman Natalia Jovovich. “This year we have a really cohesive team,” she says. “It feels like a family. We’ve bonded really well so far.” Natalia is enjoying her time on the team due to this. “I’ve made a lot of new friends…It’s a challenge, and it’s going to push you out of your comfort zone, but it’s fun.”

Varsity member Sophie Ceja agrees. She adds that even the tournaments aren’t tense or forbidding in any way. “As soon as you walk into a room, everyone’s there to help you. It’s less of competing and more of going into a group and performing in front of them. They completely embrace you.”

With support from teammates, teachers, and fellow competitors, it’s no wonder the team is blazing from victory to victory. May their season continue to be dazzling!