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Virtual 2020 Wyoming State Speech and Debate tournament takes place

◆ Technology brings top performers together.

Star Valley High School’s Speech and Debate Team competed and placed in the virtual state competition April 24-25. Competitors and judges participated in all events from their homes through real-time Zoom meetings online or with prerecorded entries.

Isaac Hyde received Best Congress Legislation. In the Congress event, students submit their own legislation to promote, dismiss or revise.

“Isaac wrote a piece of legislation entitled the ‘Moon Act” delving into America laying claims on the moon and its mineral rights,” explained SVHS Coach Katie Roberts.  “It sparked a lively debate.”

Emily Strassburg placed 3rd in 3A Oratory. Strassburg wrote an original oratory piece.

“Ortatory is presented like a ‘TED Talk,’” said Roberts.  “Students present information about a topic that they feel passionate about. They thoroughly explore facts and opinions and supply citations to support their perspective. Emily presented information about addictions, particularly addictions that someone might have to another person that can be dangerous or unhealthy.  Her piece highlighted how to discern if something is a passion, or a dangerous addiction.”

Nick Jardine and Caleb Thygerson took 2nd place in 3A Policy Debate. Onikka Olsen and Callin Sanderson placed 3rd in 3A Policy Debate.

Policy Debate or CX (Cross Examination) Debate is an intensive debate structure where arguments are weighted with researched evidence.

Each team debates the same topic throughout the entire academic year. This year, the Policy Debate topic was “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.”

Each team prepared a written case in the affirmative and negation regarding the topic.

Volunteer judges made hundreds of rounds happen in a timely manner. Joe Heward judged 7 rounds.

Other local judges included Coleen Cook, Sarah Daniel, Hollie Scherbel, Val Smith, and Coach Julie Lewis. All judges viewed events and submissions online and submitted all ballots electronically.
Coach Roberts is thrilled that the team was able to finish their season with the virtual event and is preparing for next year.

“We really look forward to next year’s season and would encourage all high school aged students who want to increase their ability to articulate, and want to have an awesome group to be around, so come out for Speech and Debate next year!”