Debate students all over the state competed at the virtual Hebron tournament over the course of two days from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6. This particular tournament was a swing tournament and the pressure was on. The nerve-wracking thing about these tournaments is they are qualifiers for two tournament circuits in one place. That means double the points for state and nationals, and everyone was bringing their A-game.
Two first-time competitors from Timber Creek were warming up their computers and ready to shine, and shine they did. Junior, Bryson Coffey, advanced all the way to finals in Dramatic Interp., while freshman, Mattie Morgan, advanced to semi-finals in Original Oratory.
“I was really excited, and then I thought, ‘why didn’t they text me?’ they’ve put in so much effort and I’m so proud of them,” Debate Coach Alyson Neeley said. “These kids are capable of amazing things and they’ve more than proved it.”
What is Dramatic Interp?
Dramatic Interp. is a speech event where competitors take excerpts from media and create a piece from them to convey a dramatized tone with. The themes of these pieces usually center on hard-hitting emotions like grief, anger, and other challenging emotions. They are essentially monologues that competitors are graded on the extent of how hard their performances hit the judges.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really nervous, sure you’re against people who are more experienced, but I was confident in my performance,” Coffey said. ” I had been preparing and working for this for such a long time that it pretty much felt natural. My coaches and teammates gave me lots of feedback, and just really poured into this, and polished it to make sure I wasn’t just proud of my performance but to also just really put my best foot forward going into it.”
What is Original Oratory?
Original Oratory is a speech event where competitors write and memorize a speech about a societal issue of their choosing. It’s essentially a TED talk but competitive. The judges essentially judge based on clarity, charisma, and general quality of the speech.
“I just drilled my speech over and over again, I wrote it out until my hands hurt but it was so worth it,” Morgan said. “I was so surprised to advance, just because of how overwhelming it was to be surrounded by all of these people who are so much more experienced than me. I’m really proud of myself.”