Speech and Debate team places in multiple tournaments


Photo Courtesy of Christina Manolis

Members of Speech and Debate pose for group photo.

The Speech and Debate Novice team competed against over 30 schools at the Ladue Invitational Nov. 19-20. There are almost 20 members on the team this year.

 “I like writing, it’s fun…” Scott Bellovich (12) said, “and the people are fun.”

Even with this being his first year on the team, his favorite thing about Speech and Debate is the camaraderie he has with his teammates. 

“We all wish each other congrats whenever we do well and give each other pointers on things we can improve upon,” Bellovich said.

There are five seniors on the Speech and Debate team this year. Lucas Ottoline (10) made it to finals in Original Oratory but had to leave early. In Informative Speaking, Aleks Ratkovics (10) took seventh place and in Radio Broadcast, Bellovich took third place. 

“It was nerve-wracking,” Bellovich said. “We’re online this year, so it’s a little less tense, but you want to do well obviously.”

The drive to perform well continued as varsity competed against over 30 schools at the Clayton Invitational Nov. 19-20. Part of preparing for their performance is practicing before the event, which the team will work together on. 

“I really like the team camaraderie, all of us hanging out together. We can act ridiculous, but also support each other,” Carlie Dobbins (12) said. “We run pieces in front of each other, we give feedback, and I also love the Humorous Interpretation event that I do.”

In United States Extemporaneous Speaking, Ethan Chapman (11) placed seventh, and Dobbins placed third with her Humorous Interpretation performance. Also, in Duo Interpretation, Libby Oelzen (10) and Mason Bader (10) took first.

“It’s a ton of fun. You basically put on a 10-minute skit by yourself playing every single character, and it’s just a load of fun…” Dobbins said. “My favorite piece I’ve performed was either from this year or last year. Last year I did a spoof of ‘A Christmas Carol’ about  a kid trying to figure out what to get his girlfriend for Christmas, and then this year I am doing a piece that involves Captain Hook trying to kill Peter Pan, which is also fun.”

Dobbins joined Speech and Debate her sophomore year, and the first time she placed was six overall in Humorous Interpretation (HI) at districts. This was the last tournament of the year and Dobbins’ goal was to place in a tournament. She also placed a few times in HI her junior year and again this year in the Clayton Fall Classic Varsity tournament. 

“Speech and Debate is a ton of fun. If you haven’t considered joining it yet, you should,” Dobbins said. “It’s a ton of fun, we have a great team bond. Going to tournaments and competing in tournaments is so much fun.”