GREEN RIVER — The Green River High School (GRHS) speech and debate team is off to a great start to their season with three first place finishes out of four competitions so far.
Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, all tournaments so far have been virtual and hosted by various schools. Despite this, participation has been excellent across the state with highly competitive rounds of competition occurring in all 12 speech and debate events.
The GRHS team grew this year to 47 active members, Head Coach Dan Parson said. Most are doing two or more events and all are working hard to achieve individual and team success.
“This season is a little different, but it has been fun to try some new things and experiment. What we do in forensics can be exhausting. The time and energy needed to become good at this is significant and it’s hard for kids to balance their time between family, homework, speech and debate, and other obligations,” Parson said.
“Our season is less than half way done and this is the point where we need to really keep at it, try to stay fresh, and not get complacent. Our kids always work hard, we are very proud of them, and I feel confident we will have a strong showing over the next 12 tournaments. Some of these kids have been working very hard for four years at speech, learning, growing, and building friendships and memories they will carry the rest of their lives. All of us want to make this season the very best it can be,” Parson added.
On November 13 and 14, Evanston High School hosted a tournament in which GRHS took first place. Casper College hosted on November 20 and 21 where GRHS took second place. GRHS took first place again in the tournament hosted by Cheyenne South High School.
Last weekend, December 11 and 12, the University of Wyoming hosted a tournament, in which GRHS earned their third top finish with another first place win.
“Speech and Debate has been a very important part of my high school experience and it has been rewarding to win like we did. We are still a pretty young team, more than half of us a freshmen, so this says a lot. Our future looks pretty bright and I think we are headed for a great season,” Team Captain Jessica Petri said.
Coach RaNae Johnson summed things up by saying, “I have been involved with speech and debate for many years now and believe it is the most valuable and educational activity available to high school students. This has been a great season already and our team is consistently showing improvement each week. While the season is long and demanding, these kids are learning that no one is going to just give them a success. They must earn it. I am deeply proud of them.”
The team will compete nearly every weekend through March 18-20, 2021.