Debaters place second at state

by marlys good

It was a great weekend for the Greybull High School speech team. When the rounds at the State Speech Meet in Buffalo were completed and figures tallied, Greybull finished second in the 1A/2A division, the highest finish for Greybull since 2009.

“We had set a goal at the start of the year to bring the state championship back to Greybull,” said Coach Joel Kuper. “Even though we finished just short of that goal, I was very pleased with everyone on the team.”

Thermopolis topped the nine-school 1A/2A field. Wright tied with Greybull for the second slot. Kuper said with all the schools bringing in their best competitors, the opportunities to make the final rounds were limited. Just one 1A/2A student advanced to the finals.

Greybull’s Sandra Cortes was a semifinalist and finished ninth overall in poetry. Joining Cortes in the elite top 1/2A awards were: Marisela Burgos, first place in oratory; Aftin DeRosa, second in drama; Jacob Gifford and Jared Henderson, second in public forum debate and Anna Savage, third place, Lincoln/Douglas debate. All six received Wyoming Speech All-State awards.

Kuper was honored by the coaching community as the 1A/2A Coach of the Season based on the strength of the team’s record this year. “I was very honored to be recognized by the other speech coaches in the state, particularly as a first year coach. The students on our team made me look very good and I thank them for their efforts,” Kuper said.

Also competing for GHS at the state meet were; Margaretha Tinglund, poetry, drama; Shayne Mazur, drama; Burgos, drama; Mason Stebner, humor, duet; Sara Jones, humor; Jacob Gifford, humor; Tara Langer, poetry; Cortes, duet; Hank Hatton, extemporaneous; Jayden Stebritz, duet; and Serenity Kinswoman, duet.

This weekend, March 19-21, the forensic team will be at the National Speech and Debate Association’s Regional Qualifying Meet at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. The two-three finishers in each event will advance to the NSDA Nationals in Dallas this summer.