A pair of Republic sophomores are headed to the national speech and debate tournament in Birmingham, Alabama later this year. Phillip Latamondeer and Makenzie Tyson both qualified at the district tournament last week. Latomondeer qualified in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Tyson qualified in Informative Speaking.
Coach Sarah Petroff says their performance at district speaks to their dedication.
“Both of those students attended their maximum 11 tournaments during the season to get the most amount of competition experience it and I believe that, along with a lot of hard work, allowed them to qualify this year,” she says.
The speech and debate squad lost a lot of seniors to graduation after last year, but it didn’t slow down the team in 2016-17. Petroff says a strong novice team, combined with dedicated upperclassmen, allowed the team to capture sweepstakes trophies at several tournaments.
Student Congress will be held on April 7th, so it’s possible the speech squad could end up with more national qualifiers. Nationals are June 18-23.