Speech and debate wins season-opening tournament at Northwest

Posted 1/11/22

Talking is easy but speaking well takes hard work. Powell High School’s speech and debate team took part in the NWC Trapper Rendezvous Forensics Tournament Friday and Saturday — the …

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Speech and debate wins season-opening tournament at Northwest

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Talking is easy but speaking well takes hard work. Powell High School’s speech and debate team took part in the NWC Trapper Rendezvous Forensics Tournament Friday and Saturday — the squad’s first in-person tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic forced competitions online.

“I have some kids that this is their second year in speech and debate and they have never seen a live tournament,” said PHS coach Nicole Maier-Reitz. “So this is going to be an experience with everything.”

Powell High School wound up with a successful tournament at NWC. The team won the Sweepstakes for Division 3A and for the first time won the Tournament Sweepstakes for Debate.

“That was something new for us. We had never won a debate sweepstakes award before. So winning both sweepstakes was just, that was a standout moment for the whole team,” Maier-Reitz said.

Individually, in public forum debate, senior Aiden Chandler and junior Dacoveny Brochu placed first, sophomore Liz Peterson and sophomore junior captain Emma Johnson tied for third place with teammates Paul Cox and Isabelle Lobingier, who are both freshmen.

Similar success was found in Lincoln Douglas debate, where freshman Salem Brown placed first.

In Congress, sophomore Isabella Gomez placed third and junior Ethan Cearlock placed fifth.

Maier-Reitz was pleased with the results of the tournament and the start to the varsity season.

“It was a fantastic tournament for us. And like I said, it was nice because we have new kids on the team all the way around or kids who … have never done any of this in person. And doing it in person versus virtual, it’s just a whole different thing,” Maier-Reitz said. “For some kids, it’s really hard the first round or two because it’s so new to be in person with the judge looking at you instead of doing it on the computer, but yet, they all did really well.”

Maier-Reitz said preparations for this tournament were not too different from tournaments in the past, despite being a first for many on the team.

The team always participates in two tournaments in the novice season, the coach said, which runs from Oct. 1 to Jan. 1. This year they participated in two online tournaments to warm up for the varsity campaign.

Powell High School is set to enter their season, which includes a tournament most weekends, with high spirits after this weekend’s tournament.

“They’re extremely thrilled we got two nice, big round glasses trophies for winning the two different sweepstake divisions,” said Maier-Reitz, “and so they’re very, very proud of themselves.”

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