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Award-winning Speech and Debate team goes to state

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Award-winning Speech and Debate team goes to state

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On March 2 and 3, Canfield sent 32 competitors to Sylvania to compete against some of the best speakers and debaters in the state.

According to Jeremy Hamilton, the head coach and adviser of the team, there were 86 schools competing and between 1,150 and 1,200 competitors.

The Canfield Speech and Debate team seems to have a lot of success year after year, both individually and as a team. Mr. Hamilton says that most of this is due to the culture surrounding the team and the high expectations set forth for the team every year. He believes that this year’s team was well-prepared for this year’s state tournament.

The Speech and Debate Team had a variety of coaches coaching different categories.

Mr. Courtney is a new teacher at Canfield High School, and he also coaches Student Congressional Debate and Public Forum Debate. Mr. Courtney has previous coaching experience in speech and debate; he has coached for four years at Poland and one year at Howland. When asked how his first year coaching at Canfield was, he said it was “a lot of work, but the kids are great, work hard and they are very appreciative.” He believes that his debaters are prepared for State because they work very hard.

One of these competitors is Robert Faix, who is a Sophomore in Student Congressional Debate.

Faix chose to compete in the category he is in because “There is no better way to get over the fear of public speaking than speaking in front of as many people as possible”.

He said that competing in Congress is essentially a lot of 3 minute speeches, and when they are done, other people ask questions on your speech. Robert Faix qualified to the State Tournament last year during his Freshman year. He expects to do a lot better competitive-wise this year because he is a lot more familiar with category, and because he has seen more competitive success this year.

One of the lead competitors of the season, Gregory Halley hoped to have a lot of success at the State Tournament. Before Greg became an all-star competitor in Informative, he competed in Humor throughout his freshman and sophomore year. When he decided to leave the category that he competed in for 2 years, he said that he felt conflicted about leaving his humor family, however his results in Informative Speaking were much better, making this big change worth it. He says that Informative Speaking suits him better than Humor. Halley finished the season as a state quarter-finalist. 

Making things more dramatic, Alana Holden is a Senior who had her fair share of success this season.

Alana is a senior competitor who decided to join the team this year. She competed in Dramatic Interpretation. Alana has always been involved with Drama and been on stage. She was attracted to Dramatic Interpretation because she wanted to pick a monologue and master it. One of Alana’s biggest supporters throughout the season has been her Mom, who has always been supportive.

It can be nerve wracking competing in Speech and Debate freshman year, however Bridget Fekety, who is a Freshman in Informative, qualified to State her first year on the team.

Fekety likes to compete in Speech and Debate because it has always been something she wanted to do, and because she likes to talk a lot. She also feels that Speech and Debate is more up her alley than other activities, and that Speech and Debate gives her an opportunity to write, and talk about anything which is something she really enjoys doing.

As a Freshman, Fekety says that the nerves will always be there when competing against some of the best people in the State, but this gives her an opportunity to see others and what they do to be successful.

The team finished the state tournament short of their expectations, though Ashley Reynolds finished fifth in Declamation and the team of Jen Smith and Dominic Duponty finished as the state runners up in Public Forum Debate. 

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About the Writer
Brandon Stratton, Senior Contributor

Brandon is a looking forward to his senior year, along with having more responsibility and leadership at Canfield High School. This year Stratton is participating...

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Award-winning Speech and Debate team goes to state