The El Dorado Springs Speech and Debate team has competed at two tournaments this year. Sophomores Ben Vickers and Cameron Collins earned the first trophies of the year for the team by placing 6th at Diamond.

The team first traveled to Kickapoo High School in Springfield on Oct. 12-13. A highlight of the tournament included Michaela Leedy (Jr.) advancing to semifinals in Dramatic Interpretation. She performed well in semifinals but was one spot away from qualifying to finals. Out of 55 entries in her event, Leedy finished in 7th place.

Also competing was Allison Piatt (Sr.) who finished with a 3-1 record in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Out of 60 entries, that put Piatt anywhere from 10th-25th place overall.

There were some 4-0 record students that were unable to advance to quarterfinals simply because of the difficulty of this tournament and their competition. The Kickapoo tournament hosted 25 schools, and since there are no class divisions in speech and debate, El Dorado Springs competed against schools such as Carthage, Neosho, Liberty, Branson, Joplin, Lee’s Summit North, Nixa, Central (Springfield) and many others.

Trevor Hicks (Sr.) competed in US Extemporaneous against 100 other competitors. Laura Pipes (Sr.) competed in Original Oratory and Sydney Robertson (So.) and Hannah Robertson (So.) performed Duo Interpretation together.

Diamond High School hosted a Novice (any student of any grade in their first year of competition) and second-year sophomore tournament on Oct. 26. In addition to the trophies earned by Collins and Vickers for Duet Acting, Pipes had success with her Original Oratory. She earned 8th place overall, which was one spot away from advancing to finals. First-time competitors Spencer Young (Fr.) and Landon Mays (Fr.) performed a Duet Acting piece and placed 16th overall.

Since this was a novice tournament, varsity students with at least 150 NFL (National Forensic League) points were allowed to judge. Serving for judges from El Dorado Springs were Piatt, Leedy, Brandon Compton (Jr.), and Sophia Marsh (Jr.). The team also took three Middle School students (Keili Tough, Alexis Tough, and Cassie Moore) that have been active in Middle School speech and debate and hope to compete in the future.