Wimberley High School Boasts Top Two Debaters in Weekend Tournament
November 7, 2019, Wimberley, Texas—Wimberley High School Speech and Debate team members competed in a swing meet at Central High School in San Angelo on November 1 and 2. The WHS team competed in two separate tournaments in the Texas Forensic Association (TFA) State Qualifier Meet, and came home with several top awards. Among the tournament events were Cross Examination (CX) and Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate, poetry, informative speaking, prose, original oratory and duo interpretation.
Here are the results:
Friday, Nov. 1
Daniel Morgan & Dani Perez- CX Quarterfinals
Rex Kidd & Ariana Shot- CX Quarterfinals
Alexa Thompson- LD Octofinals
Elysia Becken-Poetry 1st
Evie Jennings-Poetry 5th
Sarah Rickert-Prose 2nd
Alex Davenport-Informative Speaking 5th
Elysia Becken & Hallie Strange-4th DUO Interpretation
Saturday, Nov. 2
Daniel Morgan & Dani Perez-CX Semis
Beau Guidry & Jackson Delhagen- CX Semis
Alexa Thompson- LD Semis
Elysia Becken-Poetry 2nd
Alex Davenport-Informative Speaking 4th
Evie Jennings-Original Oratory 4th
Elysia Becken & Hallie Strange-DUO 2nd
Daniel Morgan received top CX Debater and Alexa Thompson placed top LD Debater.
Morgan, a junior at WHS is the debate team captain and really appreciates the value he gains from being a part of the Speech & Debate team.
"It's really fun and more importantly, we are learning real-world skills that serve us now and in the future, more than any other club," said Morgan.
The team placed 4th out of 30 on both Friday and Saturday. Students receive points for every place in the top six, with 12 points meeting the threshold for TFA state competition on March 4-7 in El Paso. The team has been putting in lots of time and commitment, already competing in five tournaments.
Freshman Alex Davenport competes in informative speaking, and spends a lot of time researching her speech, crafts it then delivers it with poise and conviction.
"My speech was about crushes and the science behind them and what is going on in the brain of the person who is going through it. I did a lot of research and offered my own unique perspective as well. I love the adrenaline and the challenge and it's really exciting when all the hard work you put in pays off with a win," said Davenport.
Their coach, Kyla Brookshier, who is the WHS Communication Teacher, Director of Forensics and the UIL Academic Coordinator, works tirelessly with her students in making sure they are practicing, challenging their creativity and supporting one another.
"We have a lot of students who are now very close to qualifying for state competition and they are tracking their points, working hard and looking forward to the next competition," said Brookshier.
Eveleigh Jennings, a sophomore, focused her original oratory on education reform—a 10-minute speech delivered in a manner to convince the judges to take her side.
"I've been in theatre since I was a little kid, so I don't get stage fright. It's just exciting for me," said Jennings.
For Jennings, the experience of competing with many different students of diverse backgrounds has broadened her horizons.
"I enjoy listening to other students' speeches and hearing things they are passionate about. Through this opportunity, I have learned so much about other people's lives, ways of life, and different cultural and political views. It opens you up to learn about what is important in their lives," she said.
Junior, Jackson Delhagen, is showing a lot of a promise in his first year on the WHS Speech & Debate team as a cross examination debater. He and his teammates had their best competition of the year in San Angelo.
"The contests are very competitive so we really feel the excitement of winning after preparing and working so hard for so long. The best thing is how supportive we are of each other,"said Delhagen.
There are two final TFA circuit competitions on the schedule before state competition—Sandra Day O'Connor High School in San Antonio on Nov. 23 and at Mayde Creek High School on Dec. 20-21.