HHS Speech and Debate competes in pair of tournaments

Courtesy photo Kaleb Calkins and Tessa Gogolin show their awards earned at the Sioux Falls Washington Warrior Tournament earlier this month.

The Huron High School Speech and Debate team attended the Sioux Falls Washington Warrior Tournament on Nov. 12, then participated in the Mitchell McGovern Tournament this past weekend.

Top finishers for Huron at Washington included a fifth place finish in Varsity Extemp for Kaleb Calkins, while in Novice Humorous Interp, Tessa Gogolin placed 6th and Green Ta Bah placed 10th.  

In Varsity Duet Intero, Katie Schoenfelder and Samantha Swanson placed 7th.

In Mitchell tournament, Calkins and Angel Olive finished fouth in Public Forum Debate, with a record of 3-2.

In Program Oral Interp, Rheya Wilk had a strong second-place finish, while Katie Schoenfelder and Samantha Swanson took 9th in Duet Interp. Tanner Cronin was 11th in Humorous Interp.

“At the Mitchell Tournament, we were able to get our Public Forum and Lincoln/Douglas Debate teams started,” said Huron coach Mitch Gaffer. “We’ve been working hard on cases and practice rounds to get to this point, and on the first weekend we’re never sure what other teams are running so we weren’t sure how things would go until we actually debated rounds.  It was nice to have Angel and Kaleb get a winning record first time out.”

Gaffer noted that the HHS Interp teams are beginning to show more consistency, pointing to Wilk’s finish and the accomplishmentof Schoenfelder and Swanson, who he said have placed in the top one/third of each tournament the team has attended.

“Their hard work is really paying off with improved performance from them.”

The next tournament for the team will the State Oral Interp Festival, hosted at Huron High School after the Thanksgiving break, on Dec. 3-4.

“The team is growing in terms of recovering from the COVID year last year,” Gaffer said. “We’re getting more students out each weekend.  It’s great to see the team grow and improve this season.”