The Bolivar High School Speech and Debate team recently competed with many other students from southwest Missouri at their season-opening tournament at Missouri State University.
Competing against 22 schools, the team earned third place in both the Novice Sweepstakes and the Varsity Sweepstakes, with the team achieving second place overall in the tournament.
“This is the best sweepstakes finish for our school in several years for the season opener (nearly altogether),” stated Ethan Samuel, BHS Instructor of Speech, Debate, and Drama.
Several students also expressed many positive thoughts about the tournament. In his fourth year on the team, senior Robert Clark finished as tournament champion in Varsity Humorous Interpretation.
“The weekends are very long, but crazy fun!” Clark said. “Getting to know everyone on the team and seeing their events is awesome. There's an event for everyone and seeing their talents is really cool! As a team, we should have a very successful season this year.”
Another senior, Lacey Ashlock, is in her third year on the team. During the competition, she earned fourth place in Championship Lincoln Douglas Debate.
“Traveling to tournaments for speech and debate is always an experience like no other. It provides a sense of community that I genuinely don't believe you can find anywhere else,” Ashlock explains. “If just competing wasn't enough, knowing that you've succeeded with your debate family is somehow even better. There is nothing else I would rather spend my time
While many seasoned team members earned top marks in their categories, many underclassmen in their first year on the team also delivered successful performances.
Sophomore Sade Billingslea, along with Blake Richardson, received fourth place in Novice Policy Debate.