A War of Words Begins

Speech and Debate prepares for competition

Jacob DeOrnellas, Reporter

The speech and debate team is gearing up for their upcoming competitions(the first one was on the weekend of Oct. 12-13)while using beneficial skills received while being on the team. 

Speech and Debate, a recognized team of talented scholars led by Adym Cooney and Brian Corrigan, offers students opportunities to be creative in different situations

The club allows students to explore both the debate side of speech and debate, along with the speech side.  The debate aspect consists of teams researching and creating arguments for pre-determined topics. The teams then argue against opposing teams about the topics they researched with the goal of winning in mind. The speech aspect includes moments for students to be creative and allows them to participate in different tournaments that include skills like public speaking. 

Nick Sheaffer, senior and captain of the team, explained how being on the team has helped him in his life. “I’m able to inform myself about what’s happening in the world and I like reaching common ground with others, in terms of solving different problems that we may or may not be facing.” 

Sheaffer also explained why the debate team was interesting to him. “Speech and Debate helps to improve my public speaking skills, but it also helps to inform me about that are happening in the world.” 

Speech and Debate lets students practice skills, such as defending good arguments, public speaking, and receiving quality research which will benefit them in and out of school. Marissa Moore, junior and member of Speech and Debate, took a Speech and Debate class in eighth grade and enjoyed it. Her enthusiasm and interest in the class led to her joining the team during her freshman year and has stuck with the team ever since. 

“Winning is a goal in Speech and Debate, especially during team competitions, but most of the goals lean towards learning more about what’s going on around the world and within our community and also to increase our speaking skills,” Moore said. 

This year, the club asked Corrigan to become a sponsor for the Speech and Debate team. Corrigan said he was excited to hear about the opening. 

“I was already involved with the Model UN club and had students who were also involved in Speech and Debate,” Corrigan stated on why he decided to become a sponsor for Speech and Debate. “Plus, the Speech and Debate team needed another sponsor and I was already interested in learning more about it.”

Corrigan also mentioned that his role in Speech and Debate is to organize logistics and help judge some of the debates.

Speech and Debate includes eight or nine competitions each year at high schools located in St. Louis and Kansas City. Each year, students continue to qualify for awards and gain more experience through the club. 

“I qualified for state last year in Springfield Missouri and even though I wasn’t placed in the top 20, I still had a fun time participating in the event,” Shaefer said.

Moore stated why she was still participating with the team even after being with them for over two years. “I’m passionate for the team because it’s where a lot of my friends are from and I just enjoy being apart of competitions and events with the other team members.”

Speech and debate meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays in room G214B.