Speech and Debate novices find success at tournament


Students line up for a picture after the tournament.

First-year members of the OHS Speech and Debate team had great success at a novice-only tournament. Speech events were held here at OHS on Friday, Jan. 8, and debate events were held at Parkway North on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Seven schools competed on Friday in a variety of events. In Interpretation, Shannon Seithel (10) took first and Melinda Grigg (12) took second. Competitors in this category must memorize a speech and act it out for eight to ten minutes using character voices and gestures.

“It felt really good to take first in interpretation,” said Seithel. “I thought to myself, ‘Great, practice paid off’.”

Other accomplishments included Gabriel Conners (11) taking third in Poetry and three students placing in the Prose category; Caroline Lewis (9) took sixth, Grigg took fourth, and Seithel tied with a student from Jackson for first.

On Saturday, 24 teams from 12 schools competed in Public Forum Debate. Conners and Sohrab Azad (11) placed second and Grigg and Seithel placed fourth.

“That’s actually what I was most proud of because I hadn’t placed in Public Forum before and it was six rounds of debate all in a row,” said Seithel. “It was really fun and I was genuinely surprised when we got fourth.”

The Speech and Debate team will compete next on Jan. 15 and 16 at the Greater St. Louis Conference Tournament at Ritenour.