WVHS’ Speech and Debate places at recent tournament

Sophomore Masha Mironova lead Wilsonville to a first place victory on November 21st

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Photo provided by Shawndra Roberts

Freshmen Cassidy Yourg and Sophia Levesque waiting in the team’s virtual “Squad Room” between rounds. Yourg and Levesque placed fourth at this tournament hosted by South Albany.

The new addition of the Speech and Debate team to Wilsonville High School has kicked off their competition season! Speech and Debate has been looked at being added to the list of extracurricular activities for students at WVHS for years; with the help of Shawndra Roberts, a teacher and speech and debate coach, the 2020-2021 school year offers students the opportunity to compete in speech and debate tournaments for the very first time.

A typical speech and debate tournament consists of two categories of speech events -interpretation and public speaking- and debate events. The interpretation part of the speech side is where students “perform poetry, prose, humorous, dramatic and duo interpretations.” The public speaking part of the speech side consists of “performing poetry, prose, humorous, dramatic and duo interpretations.”

As for the debate side, “it typically consists of public forum, parliamentary, congress, Lincoln-Douglas and policy,” Roberts explains. The debate events can be either partnered events or single events, and students won’t know if they are arguing for or against the topic until right before the debate begins.

A regular speech and debate season runs from October to the end of March, but Wilsonville’s speech and debate team first competed at the South Albany Fire Hawk Invitational on November 21st. There, freshmen Sophia Levesque and Cassidy Yourg competed together in the Novice level of Public Forum placing fourth of twelve after winning two of their three rounds. Sophomore Masha Mironova also competed, but in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate in the Novice division, placing first after winning all but one round.

Their most recent competition, the Clackamas/Cleveland Holiday Edge Invitational, was on December 5th. Mironova competed in Open, meaning she competed “with debaters who have been doing this for two or more years” where she won the last round in competition and left with a valuable learning experience.

The Wilsonville Speech and Debate team is next looking to compete over the weekend of January 9th and 10th.