Whitefish Takes Second in State Forensics

By Beacon Staff

Whitefish High School Speech and Debate headed to Columbia Falls High School for this year’s Class A State Tournament this past weekend. Whitefish ended the tournament with 92 points and a second place trophy. Columbia Falls came in first place with 127 points, and Billings Central followed Whitefish in third place with 72 points.

Whitefish also came home with four Class A state champions. Policy Debate team sophomore Joe Mazer and freshman Adam Harris took first place in team Policy Debate. Senior Katie Dodds placed first in Original Oratory. Senior Evan Harris became this year’s Class A State Champion in Humorous Oral Interpretation. Harris said, “I am shocked. It took three years of pain and one weekend of awesomeness.”

Other debaters added to the team’s point total. Junior Jake Danzyck and sophomore Derek Janni took seventh place in team Policy Debate. Lincoln Douglas debater junior Ellen Scheffer placed seventh. “The debaters did an excellent job,” said assistant coach Saundra Alessi. “I am very proud and can’t wait until next year. I am looking forward to next year as I have great expectations for all the debaters.”

Speech competitors also contributed to team’s second place finish. Extemporaneous Speaker senior Julia Williamson took seventh place, and Hannah Pearce took fifth place in Original Oratory. Memorized Public Address speakers sophomore Tyler Schiff took sixth place and freshman Stephanie Christiansen placed eighth.

Head coach Pat McLaughlin said, “All the work, practice and consistency has paid off. They were energized, and the weekend went great. The seniors did very well as did the whole team.”