On Friday, March 17, the ElDo HS Speech and Debate Team headed to Joplin to participate in the National Speech and Debate Association Districts. Those participating from El Do were Perry Allison, Crayton Thorell, Wyatt Wilkinson, Audrey Goatley, Charity Hoffman, Dennis Hail, Logan Fisk, Ryan Griffin, Camille Bland and Maya Steward. Winners would proceed to Nationals in Arizona over the summer.
This is a very difficult competition consisting of the best of the best. ElDo, a first-year all novice team, decided to participate despite this being a varsity competition, meaning all other competitors had been a part of Speech and Debate for a minimum of a full year.
Every ElDo student gave it their all in a very long, grueling day of weeding it down to the students who would proceed to quarter-finals and semi-finals, which would take place the following day.
Most events started with approximately 30 competitors. In order to return Saturday, students had to make the top eight. From there, students would fight for a place in the top four, and eventually, the top two would proceed to Arizona.
For ElDo, those advancing to the quarter-finals were Maya Steward and Camille Bland for their Duo event, and Ryan Griffin for International Extemporaneous Speaking. Ryan then proceeded to make it through the semi-finals before being knocked out during the finals.
Coach Tandi Leonard could not be more proud of the students and their many achievements throughout the season. These kids grew exponentially in their various crafts. Coach Leonard is extremely excited to see what next year holds. She wants to thank those who supported the program in any way.