Speech and Debate set to get talking

Small team sets State goals early


December 5, 2018

Joshua Wood

Your 2018-2019 CCSD No. 2 Speech and Debate team consists of: From left, front row, Kelsey Hytrek, Katlyn Hunter and Kailey Hytrek. Back row from left, Coach Sheryl Hunter, Takoda Pedersen, Leila Randall, Shelby Randall and Coach Johnny Mercer.

The Carbon County School District (CCSD) No. 2 Speech and Debate team may be small this year, the team consists of only six girls, but they have set lofty goals for themselves as they prepare to head into the season with new Head Coach Johnny Mercer.

"Our team goals this year are to make a showing at State," said Mercer. "The girls have expressed a desire to place at or win State, if at all possible. We have some girls that, they've set individual goals ... knowing how they did last year and making marked improvements on that," said Mercer.

The possibility of making a showing at State, or even winning, is not out of the realm of possibility as the CCSD No. 2 Speech and Debate team were champions in 2016 and 2014.

Of the six team members, four are returning varsity and only two are novice. In speech and debate it is a requirement that all team members compete in a least two different events by January and the team is well on their way of surpassing that requirement.

"We have three for poetry, two for POI (Program Oral Interpretation) which is a new event that started last year, we have three dramas, a humor and a duo," said Assistant Coach Sheryl Hunter. "We have at least two of our varsity members who are looking at tripling.

POI is a 10-minute performance is a 10-minute performance that can include some combination of Prose, Poetry and Drama according to the National Speech and Debate Association. Students competing in POI must include at least two of the three genres in their performance and will be judged on three criteria: programming, or how they pieced different types of literature into one cohesive idea, blocking, or movements that a performer makes during their presentation, and characterization, or how well the performer reveals the personality of the character throughout the presentation.

The first meet for the speech and debate team will be this weekend in Green River which is a novice/varsity meet. At a novice/varsity meet, students who are competing for the first time are able to take the manuscripts of their performance, such as duo, humor or drama, into the round with them. Following the winter break, it is expected that all performers will have their pieces memorized and can no longer bring the manuscripts into a round with them.

While most of the tournaments will be taking place in other places around the state, friends and family will be able to watch the speech and debate team perform this year in Rawlins when the Outlaws hold their meet on March 1, the weekend before the State tournament in Riverton.


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