DeKalb Sending Five Speakers to State

posted Mar 3, 2014, 1:19 PM by webmaster district   [ updated Mar 3, 2014, 1:29 PM ]

FORT WAYNE — DeKalb High School’s speech team placed fourth Saturday in the Indiana High School Forensics Association sectional at Northrop High School.

Carroll won the meet, followed in order by South Side, Northrop, DeKalb and Dwenger in the top five spots.

Seven sectional tournaments took place around the state Saturday, and the top six competitors in each event advance to the state meet in Indianapolis on March 15.

Two DeKalb students won individual championships, and three others earned the right to compete at the state meet.

Sophomore Abby Bainbridge won a sectional championship in original performance. Bainbridge wrote her own prose, “Without a Voice,” which tells the story of an abused spouse who leaves her family and ends up homeless.

“The piece is full of emotion, and judges have loved it all season,” DeKalb speech coach Andy Comfort said about Bainbridge’s entry.

Sophomore Tristan Friedel won a sectional championship in discussion. Sectional discussion topics were music, literature, First Amendment rights, the Sochi Olympics and the current rebellion in Ukraine. Contestants were given broad topics and researched all week to prepare for a number of different focus questions presented to them at the beginning of the rounds.

Other DeKalb competitors who advanced to the state meet are junior Clayton Travis in both international extemporaneous and impromptu, junior Megan Smaltz in both original oratory and impromptu, and sophomore Logan Babcock in international extemporaneous.

“Both Travis and Smaltz have been the doubling backbone of our speech team all year, placing in two events at every invitational,” Comfort said. “Travis and Smaltz have great stage presence along with intelligence, which helps them win over judges in very competitive events. We worked hard this year with Smaltz, Travis, and Babcock to own the prompt instead of letting the prompt control you. For example, an impromptu topic, with 30 seconds preparation for five-minute speech, over a quote by Henry David Thoreau can be intimidating, so we practice instantly relating the main point to international affairs, eras in U.S. history and personal experiences.”

Comfort added, “I am very proud of these five DeKalb state-bound speech competitors as well as the other DeKalb speakers who narrowly missed an opportunity to compete on the state of Indiana’s biggest forensics stage.”