Debaters Back From Sitka

Leah Call
Staff Writer

Kayhi ́s Drama, Debate, and Forensics team returned from their first meet of the year this past Sunday. 

Senior and fourth year member of the team, Dametre Martin was the winner of the debate final at the end of the meet as well as taking second place in duet acting along with Braxton Zink, and second in original oratory. Senior Connor Wodehouse took first place in solo acting, and sophomore Nicole West took third place in extemporaneous speaking and duet acting. Senior Jared Valentine rounds out Kayhi ́s top three winners, taking second place in speaker points. 

Members of the team participated in debates, and some form of speech. Each student was required to participate in a debate and write a speech, and then were given the choice to participate in any other two events at the meet. Events at the meet include public forum debate, informative speaking/oratory, duet acting, duo/solo interpretation, humorous/dramatic interpretation, readers theatre, and extemporaneous speaking and commentary. 

Debate team coach Dave Mitchel said this year’s team is one of the most experienced and enthusiastic teams he’s ever had. The team has twenty-eight members, with almost half being returning members.

“It’s difficult in terms of teaching, I have to teach something they haven’t learned yet. I have to push myself and push these guys to improve and get better. I think the general attitude is really forward-thinking. They really enjoy it, they cheer for each other, they have fun.” 

On Friday, members were given the opportunity to attend workshops and work on their speeches and anything else needed to prepare for their debates. The meet officially began Saturday morning. 

Each event is performed twice before the final to find your final ranking; except for debate, which is done six separate times before the final. 

Debate captain, Henry Clark said the schedule and setup of a debate meet is the same as a track meet, just for academics instead of running. 

“It’s like a track meet,” Clark said. “There are different academic meets so they have to be structured. It’s a two day event. I appreciate the event as a whole, because as a captain, I see the actual inner works of the organization and I have to help newer members a lot more.”

Junior Amanda Dale and first year member of the team said the meet as a whole was a learning experience.

“It was definitely a new experience for me,” said Dale. “I learned a lot about public speaking and gaining more confidence when speaking in front of a crowd or audience. I even finaled in the oration category of the meet.”

The team’s next meet will be held Nov. 16-17 in Skagway. 

Final debate winner
Dametre Martin 

Solo acting
Connor Wodehouse, 1st place

Speaker points 
Jared Valentine, 2nd place
Brendon Roof, 4th place
Henry Clark, 8th place

Extemporaneous speaking 
Nicole West, 3rd place
Braxton Zink, 5th place

Duet acting
Dametre Martin and Braxton Zink, 2nd place
Nicole West and Ashley Anzueto, 3rd place

Informative speaking 
Jared Valentine, 4th place

Original oratory
Dametre Martin, 2nd place
Savannah Nieshe, 4th place
Amanda Dale, 5th place

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