Speech and Debate Goes to Their First Tournament


Yusuf Rahman, Reporter

On Friday, November 11th, and Saturday, November 12th, Sahuaro’s Speech and Debate team went to their first tournament of the year. The competition took place at Mountain View High School in Mesa. Over one hundred plus participants from all over Arizona came with their schools to compete. There were separate events for middle school and high school. For example, some events for middle school participants included storytelling, poetry, and declamation (which is giving a speech that has been given in history before). High school students on the other hand, competed in events such as expository speaking, which are informational speeches accompanied by visual aids, public forum debates (2 pairs of students debating each other about issues such as technology use) and even dramatic interpretations, which is acting out a scene from a movie or book with your opinion on it.

On day one of the tournament, students competed in debate events. From Sahuaro’s team, six students did debate events. Out of them, one team member made it to semifinals: Mason Carr. He competed in varsity public forum debates. In some debate events, there are two levels, novice and varsity. Varsity is for people who are more experienced, while novice is for people who are just starting out. Mason has been on the Speech and Debate team for 2 years now. He is very passionate about the team, and was even elected as president of the club. Students are judged based on how well they argue their claim, how well they address counter-arguments, and even how confident and well articulated they are.

The second day of the competition were speech events. Sahuaro had eight competitors in various speech events, including expository speaking, original oratory (a persuasive speech about anything without any visual aids), and impromptu (getting a topic right then and there, then preparing and delivering a speech all within seven minutes). While no one from Sahuaro made it to semifinals in speaking competitions, many of the new members who participated gained valuable experience. Freshman Vivian Wood said, “I really learned a lot from going to the competition. It definitely helped me understand how these tournaments work, and what other people from other schools are doing.”

The Speech and Debate team’s first tournament of the year was a great way to start their season. The team looks forward to many more competitions in the future.