GHS Speech and Debate takes on the competition


GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Speech and Debate Team, coached by GHS teacher Teresa Dalton, made Grafton proud at the tournament held at Grafton High School on Saturday October 19.    

Almost 150 students from Wheeling Park High School, Huntington High School, Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg South High School, Linsly School, Elkins High School, and Grafton High School competed at the tournament. 

The tournament was put on with the help of approximately fifty judges and volunteers. 

It was an all-day event where students competed in their category three different times in front of three different judges. 

Students were invited to compete in thirteen different categories of speech including Impromptu, Prose, Informative Speaking, Humorous Interpretation/Dramatic Interpretation, Broadcasting, Program of Oral Interpretation, Public Forum Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Poetry, Declamation Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation and Lincoln Douglas Debate. 

Students who placed from GHS were Emily Rock and Jamie Dotson placing fifth in Duo, Jacob Freeze placed fifth in Original Oratory, Jamie Dotson placed fifth in Program of Oral Interpretation, and Fletcher Newell placed sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Grafton High School took fifth place in the Sweepstakes, which was determined by how many points (victories) and how many students on the team.

The Speech and Debate team would like to extend their appreciation to GHS Faculty and staff who helped the day of the event including Mrs. Amy Bord, Mrs. Britney Sheme, and Mr. Steve Tennant who volunteered as judges, and Mrs. Drema Gainer worked the contestant preparation room. 

Organizer would also like to extend their thanks as well to the judges which included community judge volunteers: Mr. Robert Bolton, Mrs. Melissa Garvin, and Mr. Tom Hart; GHS Alumni Judges: Hunter Neel and Trevor Swiger; and parents as judges: Carol Freeze and Russell Rock.

“I was thoroughly impressed by the caliber of every student debater.  A significant part of debate is quickly articulating a position in a clear, concise and logical manner with sources to justify your stance.  It also entails detecting weakness in your opponent’s position and quickly articulating a rebuttal.  These skills will serve them well when they enter the professional world.  Our students from Grafton High School scored exceptionally high, which I was glad to see,” remarked volunteer judge Robert Bolton. 

Also, a big thank you to ballot table coordinator Lisa Rock and parents, Nancy Maloley, Joey Newell, Mark Shreve, and Nicole Shreve, that volunteered with the tournament.

GHS could not have hosted the tournament without Charlie Midkiff and Dennis Taylor.  These two volunteers give back to the speech and debate community by traveling all over the country to help run the logistics of online ballots and schematics. 

The organization would also like to extend their gratitude to the Holiday Inn Express on 20 Sweetbrier Lane in Bridgeport, WV, for providing accommodations for Charlie and Dennis.

Finally, the Speech and Debate Team would also like to thank the Taylor County Board of Education and Mrs. Shumaker, Mrs. Snyder, and Mr. McCarthy for their continued support and coordination of the use of the school.

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