Wilsonville’s renewed Speech and Debate team prepares for first meet


Photo credits to National Speech and Debate Association

WHS welcomes a new Speech and Debate team who will begin competing in late November.

In the 2020-21 school year, Wilsonville High School welcomed back Speech and Debate club! Although popular in past years, the club fell into the background as of late but makes its return for the current school year as members prepare for their first competition in late November.

This first debate the team will participate in uses public forum style, essentially meaning that competitions from November to December will focus on a singular topic, promoting a deep knowledge of one subject. In a public forum debate, each individual issues a short speech, approximately 2-4 minutes. These are interspersed with crossfire sections, about 3 minute portions of time that consist of questions and answers between opposite sides of the debate. This style is intended to be accessible to a wide variety of skill levels, from amateur to advanced, making it a good platform for high school speech and debate.

To prepare for this, member of speech and debate club, freshman Cassidy Yourg, describes, “My partner and I have been writing out our statements and making sure we have a high level of knowledge by doing research and watching other debates.” Additionally, at their practices, she says, “We do impromptu speeches and practice for our upcoming tournament.” Yourg also expresses that she has had a great experience in Speech and Debate so far in that it is both helpful in learning public speaking and overall confidence which is crucial in many aspects of life.

Speech and Debate offers an opportunity to work hard and see that effort pay off, as well as teaching many important skills. Yourg related that she wanted to join because she enjoyed the in-class debates she has participated in, but there are many other reasons to join, too! Members have been working incredibly hard to prepare for their first competition, so good luck WHS Speech and Debate!