Speech and debate kicks off season


Tiger Paw Yearbook

Connor Jones (11) practices his speech before he competes at Francis Howell High School in November 2016.

There isn’t any arguing, Oakville’s Speech and Debate team is back for another season, and they have their eyes set on the prize.

The speech and debate team went to its first competition of the season at Parkway West on Oct. 20. In congressional debate, Preethi Tumati (12) finished in sixth place and Ryan Westwood (12) finished fourth. Westwood and Connor Jones (11) placed third in public forum debate. The team is planning to go to 11 more competitions this year and plan to improve as they go.

“Of our relatively tiny fielded team of six, almost all of us placed in debates and events, some of us multiple times.” said Connor Jones (11), a second-year speech and debate member.

Speech and Debate is still accepting new members. Practices are on Mondays and Wednesdays. The team competes at about 12 competitions a year, but members can work these competitions around their schedules, going to whichever ones they can. Speech and Debate features three different types of debate and numerous speech events, which range from acting to literary interpretation.

“I think debate is fun,” said Maxine Taylor (11), a third-year member. “I really enjoy the people in it.”

After his trip to Birmingham, AL last year, Westwood hopes to return to nationals this year in Fort Lauderdale, FL. With a few wins already under their belts, the team is confident in their chances of reaching nationals.

“The future of this season looks good for everyone,” said Westwood, currently ranked 13th in Missouri for overall speech and debate, “especially for how small the team is.”