Moffat County High School speech and debate team member senior Matt Balderston helps sophomore Tiffany Lingo prepare for the state competition this weekend during a Tuesday night practice. The team has done well this year despite difficult circumstances in the past few weeks.

Photo by Darian Warden

Moffat County High School speech and debate team member senior Matt Balderston helps sophomore Tiffany Lingo prepare for the state competition this weekend during a Tuesday night practice. The team has done well this year despite difficult circumstances in the past few weeks.

MCHS speech and debate doing well despite difficult circumstances

— It’s been a rough few weeks for the Moffat County High School speech and debate team.

But even with the loss of coach Casey Kilpatrick and disciplinary action for four team members that bars them from participation the rest of the year, students on the team have found a way to excel.

Four of the six remaining members will attend the state competition in Highlands Ranch on Friday and Saturday, as well as qualifying senior Rose Howe to nationals to compete in Congress.

“We’re doing OK,” senior Matt Balderston said. “We’re going to be just fine.”

The remaining members discussed strategies and helped one another prepare for state during practice Tuesday evening at MCHS.

Balderston and his team partner, Ben East, will compete in policy debate at state. Balderston said they have high expectations for their last year.

“We have a this-is-our-year mentality,” Balderston said. “Our goal is to win state.”

The duo has taken first or second in every in-state competition this year.

The smaller team as a whole has done extremely well in competitions during the season, especially considering they must compete with larger teams from areas like Grand Junction and Denver that may have as many as 40 students on a team.

“Overall the season’s been pretty successful,” Balderston said. “We’re consistently getting better.”

A graduating senior, Balderston said he is optimistic about the future of the team, saying there’s promising talent with incoming freshman and other unclassmen.

Two of those promising underclassmen are sophomores Tiffany Lingo and Treann Quick, who will compete in public forum at state.

“I’m a little nervous and excited,” Lingo said about her first trip to state. Lingo and Quick will debate that the U.S. government should not require its citizens to have health insurance as their public forum topic.

Lingo said she likes arguing and has wanted to be a part of the team since middle school.

“The work is hard,” Lingo said. “But the success is worth it.”

The team will compete at state and one more qualifying nationals competition in April before the final national competition.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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