By David Martin

Speech team hosts state tourney


March 15, 2017

David Martin

Gregory Marchal, left, cross examines his opponent during a cross-examination debate round. Along with being a champion in cross examination, he also is a state champion in extemporaneous speaking.

For many people, standing in front of a large audience to give a presentation ranks with root canals as a preferred way of passing the time.

However, for those who have been involved in speech and debate often blossom into confident public speakers by the end of the season.

"It's amazing to see a kid who struggles at the beginning of the season and watch them become more confident," assistant coach Jason Grubb said.

Students new to the program agree with Grubb, saying they feel more comfortable performing than they did at the start of the season.

"I've grown just knowing people," freshman Mikkie Scott said. "You learn to communicate without stuttering."

Scott, who competes in Lincoln-Douglas debate and informative speaking, said she was very nervous talking in front of people at the start the season, but is more confident walking into a competition.

One of the things that helps her is the relationships she's forged with other members of the team, saying the group is close-knit. She plans to join the team again next year.

That close-knit atmosphere is what freshman WIlliam Allen said he enjoys most about team, calling it a "happy, dysfunctional little family."

Allen competes in humor and public forum debate and said he joined because his sister competed with the team and he enjoys arguing with people.

One thing he believes the activity has helped him with is being psychotic while performing his humorous interpretation of "Jimmy the Antichrist: A Comedy in One Act" by Keith J. Powell. He also plans to return next year.

Regardless of if they're debating China-U.S. policy or acting out a duet, Senator John Barrasso said the future is in safe hands with the collection of Wyoming students involved in speech and debate.

Barrasso spoke during the awards ceremony, and was originally invited to the competition by assistant coach Dan Parson after the the senator met with speech and debate teams at Kelly Walsh High School. Barrasso said he wants to encourage kids to continue their education and stay involved publicly, hoping many of the students chose to raise families in Wyoming.

"What they do is important and will serve them well in the future," Barrasso said. "The future will be in very capable hands."


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