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State speech and debate competition comes to Canfield

Ben Gleichert

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If you happen to drive by Canfield High School during this weekend, you may be overwhelmed by the commotion.

The Ohio state Speech and Debate tournament is being co-hosted by Canfield and Boardman and held at Canfield High School.

Canfield’s Speech and Debate team has had an incredible year placing in the top three at twelve of their fifteen regular season tournaments. So far individual students on the team have won a combined 313 trophies. THe team also has five nationals qualifiers, two of whom are returning competitors.

Mr. Jeremy Hamilton, head director of the team, said, “This is going to be a big event. There are over 80 schools that will be attending and over 900 students that participate in this tournament.”

In the past four years Canfield’s team has placed in the top five at state; this is currently the longest such streak in Ohio. In the last two years Canfield has been state runner-up as a team. This year Canfield is sending a remarkable 37 students in categories varying from Humor to Student Congress.

One student who qualified for the first time is junior Julie Gemmel who competes with her partner Rayann Atway in the category Public Forum Debate.

Gemmel said, “It’s a way to show how talented you are, and it shows you are dedicated.”

Brandon Brooks, two-time state qualifier in the Prose & Poetry Reading category agreed with Julie when he said, “It is when everyone is most prepared so it is the best showing of your abilities.”

The Canfield Speech and Debate team is looking for that state title this year and is willing to work for it.

Gemmel said, “To prepare for state we have more practice than usual, spending 4 hours every day after school.”

The tournament will begin on Friday and conclude with closing ceremonies on Saturday night.

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The student news site of Canfield High School.
State speech and debate competition comes to Canfield