The Wimberley High School Speech and Debate team is just two competitions away from state – a Texas Forensic Association competition Nov. 23 at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in San Antonio and at Mayde Creek High School Dec. 20-21.
The team recently competed at Central High School in San Angelo in a TFA state qualifier meet that actually consisted of two competitions.
On Friday, Nov. 1, Daniel Morgan and Dani Perez won in the Cross Examination quarterfinals, as did Rex Kidd and Ariana Shot. Alexa Thompson made the Lincoln Douglas Debate octofinals. Other students who won or placed included Elysia Becken, 1st in poetry; Evie Jennings, 5th in poetry; Sarah Ricker, 2nd in prose; Alex Davenport, 5th in informative speaking and Elysia Becken and Hallie Strange, 4th in duo interpretation.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, Daniel Morgan and Danie Perez won cross examination semis, as did Beau Guidry and Jackson Delhagen. Other students who placed and won were Alexa Thomson, Lincoln Douglas Debate semis; Elysia Becken, 2nd in poetry; Alex Davenport, 4th in informative speaking; Evie Jennings, 4th in original oratory; Elysia Becken and Hallie Strange, 2nd in duo. Daniel Morgan received the top cross examination debater award and Alexa Thomason received the Lincoln Douglas Debate top debater award.
Morgan, a junior at WHS, is the debate team captain and really appreciates the value he gains from being a part of the Speech & Debate team.
“It’s really fun and more importantly, we are learning real-world skills that serve us now and in the future, more than any other club,” he said.
The team placed 4th out of 30 on both Friday and Saturday. Students receive points for every place in the top six, with 12 points meeting the threshold for TFA state competition on March 4-7 in El Paso.
Freshman Davenport competes in informative speaking, and spends a lot of time researching her speech, crafts it then delivers it with poise and conviction.
“My speech was about crushes and the science behind them and what is going on in the brain of the person who is going through it. I did a lot of research and offered my own unique perspective as well. I love the adrenaline and the challenge and it’s really exciting when all the hard work you put in pays off with a win,” said Davenport.
Jennings, a sophomore, focused her original oratory on education reform—a 10-minute speech delivered in a manner to convince the judges to take her side.
“I’ve been in theatre since I was a little kid, so I don’t get stage fright. It’s just exciting for me,” said Jennings.
“I enjoy listening to other students’ speeches and hearing things they are passionate about. Through this opportunity, I have learned so much about other people’s lives, ways of life, and different cultural and political views. It opens you up to learn about what is important in their lives,” she said.
Junior Delhagen, and his teammates, had their best competition of the year in San Angelo.
“The contests are very competitive so we really feel the excitement of winning after preparing and working so hard for so long. The best thing is how supportive we are of each other,”said Delhagen.