Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
Staff Writer 

GRHS speech and debate team finishes 2nd


The nationally-ranked Green River High School Speech and Debate team came home with a second-place finish this past weekend.

The team may have not had enough time to practice and were missing quite a few varsity team members, but that did not stop them from taking second out of 16 teams competing at the Rock Springs Tournament. This speech and debate team currently has a national ranking of 99 out of 8,159 teams, and is first in both the state and its district.

“We have only been practicing for a couple of weeks, this tournament is too early in the season to be truly prepared and in top form. We have to jump in the water with both feet at some point, however, and so this tournament gave the team an opportunity to compete and to work together and bond as a team,” head coach Carina Stulken said. “I am very proud of how well they did considering the short amount of time they had to prepare. We also didn’t have many of our varsity students competing at this tournament so a second-place finish is outstanding.”

Even though Rock Springs is so close, it doesn’t give the team an advantage. They still need to be at the top of their game. One positive aspect to competing so close, is it gives parents the chance to see their children compete, she said.

With the team size continuing to grow, the three coaches are finding it harder and harder to meet the demands.

“We have around 100 students on the team with about half of that novice and half varsity,” Stulken said. “The size of our team creates coaching challenges; ideally we want the opportunity to work one on one with each student. The varsity, as well as parents, really take up the slack with this and help us coach.”

With the next tournament for the novice portion of the team, varsity team members will not only have the chance to help the novice prepare, but more time to prepare for their next competition. 

Another problem that arises for the team, is a lot of its team members are still competing in other activities, which takes them away from the first few competitions, she said. Choosing when team members compete is also a challenge.

“I didn’t allow most of my varsity debaters to compete in Rock Springs because they will be traveling to Alta in Salt Lake City in December,” she said.

Despite these issues, the team is focused on its preparations for the Cheyenne South Tournament this weekend in Cheyenne. As in the past, the teams’ goals remain the same. 

“Our goal is to have a record breaking year, to uphold our state title, and to work hard both individually and as a team,” Stulken said.


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