MCHS speechsters place second in home meet |

MCHS speechsters place second in home meet

Lee Harstad

More than 150 speechsters converged at Moffat County High School (MCHS) Friday and Saturday to compete in the MCHS invitational speech tournament.

The MCHS team performed well enough to place second in the tournament.

“The team overall had enough points to take second place, but the home team bows out of the sweepstakes category since most of the judges are local judges which could give the home team an unfair advantage,” said Jill Grimes, speech team coach. “Putting the tournament together took many, many man hours and the students spent much of their spare time helping with that. Needless to say, we didn’t have much time to work on their speeches. So the overall results were very pleasing.

“I was also impressed with this community’s outpouring of support for this annual home tournament. The judging pool was abundant with extremely competent and experienced judges. The speech parents put on a magnificent luncheon for all of the judges, coaches, bus drivers and administrators. The team members made many sacrifices to organize the tournament.

“For all of this, I am so very grateful. The end of the meet was bittersweet because it’s sad to realize that those seniors I’ve been working, laughing and crying with for as many as four years had just experienced their last home speech tournament.”

Grimes is confident of her team this year.

“We have a lot of returning members and the team is very, very strong this year,” Grimes said. “Our seniors are very good and the experience carries the team quite a ways.”

The 10 schools competing were Moffat County, Battle Mountain, Montrose, Delta, Palisade, Fruita, Rangely, Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Mullen High School in Denver. In high school speech, teams are allowed to compete in 10 different events in two different classes, novice and advanced. Participants are allowed to enter every event, but many enter two contests, one during the morning session and the other in the afternoon.

Events at the tournament were more than the oratory, according to Grimes. Along with the oratory, which is a memorized speech, audience members saw other types of skits such as impromptu, extemporaneous, poetry and drama which include acting out various literary works.

Performances by MCHS speech members included a rendition of “Catcher in the Rye,” a humorous interpretation of a cab driver and a new event this year that dealt with parliamentary procedure, where competitors act as senators and representative to try and pass laws. The laws they debate are produced by the speech teams. This event was Friday and Delta, Fruita Monument, Mullen, Moffat County and Palisade participated.

There were 33 judges, mostly from the community, who picked the winners at the tournament. Grimes is grateful for the support, especially those who continue to help out in the tournament year after year.

Along with the judges, parents also play a large role in making the tournament a success. They brought lunch for all the judges, coaches and bus drivers, along with providing support for the children.

Grimes, an instructor of beginning speech and advanced speech at MCHS, has been coaching the team since 1969 and thinks highly of her team.

“These are the nicest and most talented kids in school,” she said.

Kelly Anderson, Eric Boutwell, Amanda Breen, Chris Casinger, Rebecca Chadwick, Krystle Fahle-Bowler, Kip Holdridge, Justin Hunsaker, Steve Jackman, Ben Koucherik, Nubia Martinez, Andrea Palloaro, Stephanie Raschke, Ben Shellhorn, Chris Skowronski, Angela Vesely and Chris Wintemute from Moffat County participated in the invitational.

In the Friday Student Congress event, Martinez and Shellhorn were elected presiding officers, Holdridge and Vesely were noted superior speakers and Breen, Skowronski and Fahle-Bowler received runners-up honors.

Saturday winners included, Breen, first place in original oratory and second place in Lincoln-Douglas debate; Holdridge, second place in dramatic interpretation of literature and fourth in cross-examination debate; Shellhorn, second and third places in original oratory; Chadwick, third place in humorous interpretation of literature; Vesely, third place in cross-examination debate and original oratory; Koucherik, third place in cross examination debate and in dramatic interpretation of literature; Martinez, fourth place in cross examination debate and fifth in original oratory; Skowronski, fourth place in dramatic interpretation of literature; Fahle-Bowler, sixth place in dramatic interpretation of literature; Wintemute, seventh place in foreign extemporaneous speaking and an honorable mention; and Casinger, Raschke and Boutwell all received honorable mention awards.

Moffat County speechsters travel to Grand Junction Friday and Saturday to participate in the Madge Huffer Mesa High School invitational tournament.