Oakwood hosts first Speech and Debate tournament in seven years

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Photo by: Jack Degenhart

Oakwood High School hosted their first Speech and Debate tournament in seven years this past Saturday. The halls held students from all of the different events of the tournament, coming from all over the Great Miami Valley District.

Lydia Beyer (10), competed at the tournament this past weekend.  

“I thought it would be weird competing at my own school, but I still got into the zone and I felt like I wasn’t at Oakwood,” Beyer said.

Although the tournament was held at “home”, students still felt the anxiety that accompanies Speech and Debate competitions.

“It was a little stressful but we all got through it,” Sophie Soller (9) said.

Passerbys saw students throughout the school speaking to walls, or “wall-talking” as the participants call it, to practice their material.

Exempt coach, Tait Hamiel, expressed excitement about hosting a tournament at Oakwood. According to Hamiel, Oakwood has not hosted a tournament in seven years.

“As a former Oakwood grad myself, I remember it was something we did annually. Unfortunately over the years it kind of fell to the wayside,” Hamiel said. “We tried to have one three years ago but we had an ice storm that ended up cancelling it.”

Oakwood performed extremely well at the tournament, taking home four first place titles. Madelynn Einhorn (11) and Sara Pierce (11) won first place in Public Forum debate, Madeline Burke (12) and Kambrie Riddle (12) won first place in Duo Interpretation, Bella Fiore (11) won first place in Original Oratory, and Ben Wilson (11) won first place in Program Oral Interpretation.

“[Hosting a Speech and Debate tournament at Oakwood] is pretty cool,” Susan Wenzke (12) said. “I feel like it’s kind of like a learning curve when you’re hosting a competition, and for some parts we didn’t know exactly what we were doing, but we tried really hard and I think that we ended up doing really well.”

By: Jack Degenhart

degenhart.jack@oakwoodschools.org

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