Five speech and debate qualifiers move on to Nationals


On June 14-19, CFHS will send five qualifying speech and debate members to the national tournament, this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sophomore Grace Hoy and seniors Mikey King, Eli Shall, Maggie Mills, and Sasha Haines will attend the national tournament competing in the categories dramatic interpretation, duo interpretation, and public forum debate. 

“All the national qualifiers are people who have overcome quite a few obstacles to get where they are currently,” stated speech and debate head coach Mr. Ken Kasee.

Challenges the qualifiers have faced include Shall and King placing third in last year’s national qualifier competition and Haines and Mills receiving mixed results on the national circuit. 

According to Mr. Kasee, the five team members represent some of the most devoted and diligent individuals on the team.

“They represent the most skilled, matched with some of the hardest workers on the team. We have an extremely hardworking team,” said Mr. Kasee.

These qualifiers all remain extremely motivated throughout the season and work hard in order to achieve success while competing. 

In addition, Grace Hoy is one of the five qualifiers who has stood out significantly this year.

Grace Hoy is new this year as a sophomore and she came in and was immediately successful. She’s overcome some roadblocks along the way and has still managed to exceed everyone’s expectations and qualify for nationals,” stated Mr. Kasee.

Hoy performs a cutting from the HBO show “Euphoria” by Sam Levinson. 

Hoy is excited to travel to Albuquerque in June.

I genuinely never thought I would qualify and I am beyond excited to see all the incredible speeches and absorb skills for next season,” said Hoy.

By viewing other competitors and watching their performances, Hoy hopes to gain more skills for future speech seasons. 

Likewise, King looks forward to seeing different competitors’ style of performance.

“I always feel like there is a greater sense of competition at larger national tournaments because no one has seen each other’s piece before,” stated King.

King and his Shall perform a cutting of the film “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

King reflects on his large accomplishments that he has shared with his duo interpretation partner, Eli Shall.

In December, King and Shall competed at George Mason University’s national circuit tournament where they were tournament champions.

“We beat out close to forty other duos from across the country including the national champions from last year. Eli and I both were very proud of that,” King said. 

King and Shall remain proud of themselves for persevering through the national circuit tournament and coming out on top.

From their victory at George Mason University, the pair will bring their confidence from throughout the season to the state tournament at Wooster High School on March 6-7.

All of the national qualifiers have their own successes that they are proud of, and it would not have happened without the bond of the team as a whole.

“My biggest accomplishment this season is definitely creating a close bond with everyone on the team. I wouldn’t have been able to finish off the season without them,” Hoy said.