Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GR students return from nationals


For some it was the last high school tournament they would ever compete in. For others, it was a chance to experience speech and debate at nationals and learn from the experience.

Thirteen students from the Green River High School Speech and Debate Team recently attended the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Florida.

Abigail Grubb competed in informative, Jesse Lauze-Reyes and Rebecca Shamer chose World School debate, Gregory Marchal participated in extemporaneous speaking, Victoria Allen competed in oratory, Dallin Hoyt took on Lincoln Douglas debate, Rachel Heisinger and Patrick Marchal participated in Congress, Caeden Grubb and Atlin Johnson entered cross examination debate, Lynzi Jonson program of oral interpretation while Matthew Pickering and Ramsey Taliaferro participated in public forum debate.

Head coach Carina White said if one of the students is eliminated in the event they qualified to attend in, they have the option of competing in a supplementary event.

White said this season most of the student chose to compete in extemporaneous debate, a shortened debate in which the topic is revealed 30 minutes prior to the start of the round. Students then use that time to research and prepare a case either for or against the topic.

Supplementary events guarantee students three rounds and then those that have not received two losses continue round by round in double elimination. Once they have two losses they are eliminated. It is very difficult to compete in because of this.

"Overall the team had some great success," White said.

It takes eight wins in debate rounds to advance; students are guaranteed six rounds and each round has two judges in it, White explained. If they receive eight ballots, they make it to the first two elimination rounds. Johnson and C. Grubb received six ballots and were very close to making it.

"Caeden is a freshman and we expect to see great things from him in the future," White said.

Meanwhile, Lauze-Reyes and Shamer helped make up a five-member team of the World School Debate team; the three other members were from other teams in the Wind River District. It takes a 4-2 record to break in World School Debate, an event in which they are debating various topics against teams from around the country and the World. For the first time the Wind River team made it to elimination rounds, but lost the elimination round, which was round seven White said.

G. Marchal competed in extemporaneous speaking on domestic topics and made it to elimination rounds in his event and ended up placing in top 60 out of hundreds of students. Students receive their choice of three questions in each round and have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-7 minute speech that includes sources.

G. Marchal competed in extemporaneous debate and made it to the 10th round and a semifinal finish in the event that had more than 750 competitors.

C. Grubb, Pickering and Hoyt also made it quite far in extemporaneous debate when they advanced several rounds past the first three.

"We are always hopeful that each year students will find success at nationals and use the experience to grow and I think we achieved that," she said. "They competed against the best of the best in the country and held their own."

A. Grubb and G. Marchal received awards for qualifying for nationals all four years of high school. Only 63 other students out of the thousands that were at the tournament received this award. They were honored on stage for this accomplishment.

"I am very happy with the results and the experience they had," White said. "Green River is a nationally competitive team and we continue to grow and learn."

Pickering, Taliaferro, Heisinger and Shamer will return as seniors and C. Grubb as a sophomore and they will have this experience to apply to next season, she said.

As for the seniors, it's tough.

"It is always bittersweet; that last round of competition in high school, that last bus ride home," she said. We wish them luck as they go out into the world and make a difference." 

The team weren't the only ones being recognized at the event. White received her second diamond award.

A coach can only receive a diamond award every five years and they must earn enough points during that time to do so.

"It was nice to be recognized," she said.


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