Speech and Debate sends large group to district competition at Ladue


Photo Courtesy of speech and debate

Members of the OHS Speech and Debate team pose for a picture

Out of the greater St. Louis area and Jefferson City, OHS has more entries than all but five schools in the upcoming Missouri State High School Activities Association district competition this Friday and Saturday (March 6-7) at Ladue High School.

OHS has nine speech entries out of 11 total slots, and OHS also has filled three of six slots in the debate section.

“I’d say that’s pretty good,” said Mr. Ed Taylor, OHS Speech and Debate sponsor.

The team is split between two divisions; varsity and novice. The varsity team consists of Tommy Jackson (12), Hannah Franke (11), Triona Leach (12), Brittany Kohne (12), and Nora Ovchiyan (12). The novice team consists of Mitchell Aschenbrenner (10), Andrew Blanchette (10), Ethan Chapman (9), Carly Dobbins (10), Thomas Kallous (9), Courtney Kreyling (9), and Hailey Yaeger (10). All district participants are considered varsity.

This has been a busy season for the OHS program. They competed in three Greater St. Louis Tournaments. They were in five invitationals. And they hosted a novice tournament with Mehlville in January. 

The team competed at Rock Bridge Invitational in Columbia, Missouri  against 20 other schools on Feb. 7-8. Hannah Franke and Tommy Jackson placed sixth in Duet Acting; Franke also took third in Poetry Interpretation and Jackson made it to the quarterfinals in the Lincoln Douglas Debate.

Ethan Chapman narrowly missed finals, placing eighth out of 36 in Radio Speaking; Thomas Kallous placed eighth out of 28 in Extemporaneous Speaking.

The following weekend, (Feb. 14-15) OHS competed at Marquette High School (for the last open tournament) where around 30 other schools were also competing.

There have been many memorable moments for team members. “Placing top three in tournaments were the good times,” Mitchell Aschenbrenner (10) said. “As well as staying overnight with the team at a hotel (in Columbia).”

Overall, this season’s many victories have spelled success for the speech and debate team.