Speech and Debate: State Recap


Ansley Schnelle, Staff Writer/Editor

The Holy Family Speech and Debate team has yet to disappoint! This weekend (March 18th and 19th) was the State 5A CHSAA Speech and Debate Tournament. Junior Estella Hageman competed in national extemporaneous speaking, sophomores Samantha Bennett and Reagan Mraz competed in duo interpretation, and sophomore Alex Potter competed in congressional debate. 

Hageman, who is also on the cheer team and girls golf team at HF, has had quite the impressive season. While recapping a few of her favorite memories from the season, she says “The moment when they had announced I had qualified for state was a very proud moment for me, as that was my goal for the season. Another proud moment of mine was making finals for the national qualifier tournament in national extemporaneous speaking and placing fourth, resulting in being second alternate for the national speech and debate tournament.”

This weekend, she had yet another exciting accomplishment – placing 7th in the national extemporaneous speaking category at State. 

Throughout the season, Estella has also competed in public forum debate, congressional debate, world schools debate, and original oratory. 

Estella is passionate about Speech and Debate for a variety of reasons. “I love the competition and the ability to earn your way up to a higher ranking and to be able to see your achievement and improvements through placing and making finals,” she says, “Speech and Debate allows me to know so much about various topics, especially present day issues. I love the work and preparation that goes into it. I also love the ability to express myself through public speaking.” 

Another accomplishment for the Tigers was when Samantha Bennett and Reagan Mraz took 12th place in the duo interpretation category. In this event, 2 people memorize and perform a speech (written and published by someone else). Costumes and props are not allowed. “Another rule for duo interpretation is that the two people cannot touch or make eye contact with each other at any time throughout the performance. This rule makes things challenging sometimes,” says Mraz. 

Placing at State is a huge achievement. Even though competing in Speech and Debate requires so much hard work and preparation, it can also be rewarding. “My favorite part about speech and debate is having the opportunity to compete in things that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to with a whole team to support you,” says Reagan. “Only in speech and debate do you get to regularly compete in performing ‘skits.’ The team is so supportive and fun to be around. It’s just really great.”