GRHS Speech and Debate Overcome Challenging Season

GRHS Speech and Debate Overcome Challenging Season

The GRHS Speech and Debate team took second place at the 2021 3A state tournament. Photo courtesy of Dan Parson

GREEN RIVER — The Green River High School Speech and Debate team had new challenges this year with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic still effecting the way in which they could compete.

Despite competitions being held virtually, the team remained competitive, taking a second-place finish at the 2021 3A state competition and third at the 2021 National Qualifiers. Several students will move on to compete at Nationals, which will take place online from June 13-19.

“The goal at the beginning of the season was to ensure the future of the team, while still maintaining our competitive edge. Since all competitions were virtual, the motivation to compete was changed for many kids,” head coach Dan Parson said. “Without a live audience, students could not feed on the energy in the room. Nonverbal aspects of communication were inhibited. Basically the dynamics of persuasive speaking, acting and debate were dramatically changed.”

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Although the missing element of the live audience to feed off of impacted students, the team made adjustments to find other motivators to put forth their best performances.

“Students had to look to other aspects of what we do to stay motivated and involved. I am proud of how well the team came together to be not just competitively successful, but to function like a second family,” Parson said.

Parson said that this group of students ensured that speech and debate will live on at Green River High School.

“Our future next year is bright because of the dedication this seasons students showed. They really saved speech and debate at GRHS and generations of future students will reap the rewards of that effort,” he said.

The GRHS Speech and Debate team took third at the 2021 National Qualifiers, which several students qualifying to compete at the national level. Photo courtesy of Dan Parson

State Results

The team took 2nd place overall at state this year.

Individual Placings:

  • Kameryn Ferrell: Drama, semifinals
  • Faith Duncan: Extemporaneous Speaking, Semifinals
  • Mia Worrell and Emma Christiansen: Informative Speaking, semifinals
  • Jessica Petri: Lincoln Douglas Debate, 3rd place
  • Olivia Nielsen: Oratory, semifinals
  • Olivia Nielsen: POI, 4th place
  • Elijah Kropf :POI, 5th place

National Qualifiers Results

The GRHS team took 3rd place overall at the National Qualifiers.

Students qualifying for the National Tournament:

  • Faith Duncan in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Jessica Petri in Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Elijah Kropf and Sabien Maez in Duo
  • Eli Thomas in Drama
  • Kameryn Ferrel in Drama
  • Olivia Nielsen in Oratory

Students named as alternates: Emma Christiansen in Informative Speaking, Carter Tuttle in Big Question Debate, and Eli Thomas and Mia Worrell in Duo.