Speech and Debate competes at state qualifiers


Photo Cred: FUHS Speech

On Mar. 9, the FUHS Speech and Debate team competed at Orange County Speech League qualifying tournament for the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) State Championships.

28 members of the team qualified, including freshman Jameson Oates, who competes in International Extemp and Impromptu.

“I feel like I got progressively better as the day went on, probably because I was continuing in the competition, and got more excited,” Oates said.

Impromptu is an event where competitors are given two minutes to prepare a five minute speech based on a given topic. Because the speech is made up each round, the only way to prepare for Impromptu is to practice random topics.

“The most intimidating part is the fact that you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Oates said. “Because you can get either get a question that’s super easy, and you have a lot to talk about, or you can get something that you’ve never heard of or you don’t know at all, and it’s kind of hard.”

Senior Lizzy Renteria earned first in Duo Interpretation, and third in Expository.

“Overall it was a very fun experience, considering it being my last few tournaments since it’s my senior year. I wanted to just have fun, and just live in the moment,” Renteria said. “I wasn’t too nerve wracked, so overall it was comfortable and it was fun.”

Most competitors were FUHS students, which alleviated some pressure from the team.

“It was only the four of us [competing in Expository], myself, Kristin Dickson, Gabrielle Platon, and Jamie Ma, and all four of us got to qualify, so that was great,” Renteria said.

“I was mainly competing against people from Fullerton, and I beat a lot of them, so I thought that was kind of surprising,” Oates said.

Juniors Lauren Wright and Sydney Basham earned second in Duo Interpretation. Wright and Basham became a duo this year, but both feel that they work well together.

“Sydney is my best friend, and I love having a duo with her because we work together really well, and our chemistry is really good,” Wright said. “We’re able to give each other criticism without getting hurt, which makes it a lot more fun.”

“A duo is a tricky thing because it can either make or break your friendship with that person,” Basham said. “With Lauren and I, it actually made us a lot closer because we have to practice together a lot, so it’s really fun.”

State qualifiers was not only rewarding for the team because of the success and amount of people that qualified, but was also rewarding in seeing teammates’ hard work pay off.

“[State quals] was really fun, especially because a majority of our team ended up qualifying to state, and it was a day when a lot of everybody’s hard work paid off,” Wright said.

The Speech and Debate team will compete at State Championships May 3-5, so make sure to wish the team good luck!