CFHS Speech and Debate leaves their mark on the school


Photo courtesy of Lindsey Schumacher.

It’s officially halfway through the year, and the CFHS speech and debate team has already made its mark on the school. 

After a successful 2020-2021 season, with multiple students competing and placing at nationals, the hopes are high for the team. 

“I’m looking forward to this season,” said coach Mrs. Lashley. “I think we have a shot at doing very well at states this year.” 

Although the tournaments themselves are still virtual, the team is now able to compete in a hybrid form, where the team is able to meet at the high school to compete in the same environment. 

“It feels nice to be back all together,” said junior Ryan Hill. “It’s much better than last year where all tournaments were completely virtual.” 

The team is already proving its worth this season. 

“There have already been many accomplishments,” said Mrs. Lashley. 

Senior, and president of the club, Wren Opperman has already accomplished the task of bidding out to states after only two months of competition. 

Opperman competes in the category of Original Oratory, where competitors write a speech about a topic of their choice. 

“My speech is about the importance of boredom,” said Opperman. 

Opperman will continue to use this speech for the rest of the year as she continues to states and post season tournaments. 

“I love the team and the atmosphere at tournaments,” Opperman said. 

In the debate side of the club, the Lincoln Douglas squad is continuing to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. 

Seniors Ali Holtz and Sophia Avery have already qualified to nationals since they both placed above fourteenth place at the national circuit competition last year. 

“I have many goals for the rest of the season,” said Holtz. “I am so excited for Nationals, and I am looking forward to taking some of my team with me.” 

Lincoln Douglas is a type of debate where competitors examine the moral and ethical sides of arguments. 

“Debate has helped me become a better student,” said Holtz. “It challenges participants to think critically about modern day issues.” 

“It also is just simply fun,” said Avery. “It has helped me gain writing and argument skills.” 

Holtz and Avery also understand the importance of community outreach within the speech and debate world. Over the summer, they created an Ohio Debate Exchange, where debaters from under-resourced schools in the area are assigned with veteran debaters that help them improve their skills. 

The pair has also worked as mentors with the national debate program Beyond Resolved, and continue to advocate and support other communities while still gaining their skills in the speech and debate world. 

Juniors Nathan and Ryan Hill compete together in the category of Duo Interpretation and  currently have two bids to the state tournament. 

“I love speech and debate,” said junior Nathan Hill. 

“I have bonded so much with the people in my category and it has been a great way to get to know other people in other grades.” 

It is clear that CFHS will have a lot to cheer for this March as the team continues to have success at state and national level tournaments.

“I am looking forward to experiencing the rest of the season,” said Junior Ryan Hill 

“I am going to push myself to do well at states and at the rest of the tournaments.”