SMFHS Speech, Debate team gives solid performances

Kent Weeklies
Meghan Huelsman
Connor Powers

The Stow-Munroe Falls HIgh School Speech and Debate team has strung together several strong weeks, highlighted by the solid performances from junior Connor Powers. 

Powers placed first at the recent Wadsworth tournament, advancing to the final round and then winning over five other students. Then, the following week, at Tusky Valley, he finished in second place, advancing to his second consecutive final round.

At Wadsworth, Powers was joined by Penelope Covey and Lauren Garfield, a freshmen team competing in Duo Interpretation. They placed fifth in their first-ever final round.

Meanwhile, the debaters kept things rolling at their respective tournaments. While the speech students competed at Tusky Valley, they attended the virtual New Philadelphia competition. Four Congressional debaters (Tim Sedor, Elias Vara Maurice, Nathan Marotta and Jacob Licate) all placed, while the Public Forum team of Natalie Pigman and Allie Vale won their category.

The SMFHS Speech and Debate team split up and competed at three different tournaments the weekend right before the holiday break.

The debaters logged in to compete "at" the annual GlenOak tournament. Senior Andy Jesson finished third in Lincoln-Douglas debate. He entered break rounds in 18th but pulled himself up to the top four during bracket competition by reaching the semifinals. Meanwhile, senior Allie Vale and sophomore Natalie Pigman reached octafinals in Public Forum debate, while Jaren Droder and Jacob Strang advanced to double-octafinals in the same category. Senior Tim Sedor finished fifth in Congressional debate, and sophomore Nathan Marotta earned seventh in Congress.

At the same time, the speech students on the team competed at the Canton McKinley tournament. Junior Connor Powers finished second in Humorous Interpretation, while senior Meghan Huelsman placed for the first time this season with a third-place finish. Sophomore Jason Folk finished fourth in Dramatic Interpretation as well. 

But that wasn't all for Huelsman, Powers, Folk and others: They entered their performances into a pre-recorded tournament and all found success. Huelsman and Powers each finished second at the Madison Central national circuit tournament in their respective events. Sophomore Nolan Miller earned third in Humorous Interpretation, and sophomore Emma LaMantia earned sixth in Declamation. Sophomores Bidya Niroula (Declamation) and Folk (Dramatic) each reached semifinal rounds in their respective categories. 

The team is off for several weeks due to the holiday break, but they're still fundraising and practicing hard for the upcoming district competitions. To donate to the team, checks can be sent to the SMFHS Speech and Debate team at 3227 Graham Road, Stow44224.