BANDON - Sixteen members - 11 returning and five new speakers - of the 2017 Bandon High School Speech Team represented Bandon at the Clackamas Holiday Edge Speech and Debate Tournament at Clackamas High School on Dec. 2.
Competitors from 31 high schools around the state competed at the tournament, including Westview, Cleveland, Hood River Valley, La Salle Catholic College Prep, Gresham-Barlow, Ashland, McMinnville, Sprague, Sunset, Lakeridge, Woodrow Wilson, Centennial, Mountainside, Silverton, West Albany, Heritage - (Vancouver, Wash.), Lincoln, Bandon, Crescent Valley, Tigard, Marist Catholic, South Eugene, Tillamook, Crater, Glencoe, Summit, Canby, Gresham, Junction City, Lake Oswego Senior High, and Nestucca.
Marino Santoro placed fourth in the open division of expository speaking with an originally written speech on “The Opioid Epidemic” In the novice division for first-year speakers, Bandon brought home two awards in dual interpretation: Kyla Harris and Izzy Bean took first with a piece called “John Lennon and Me” by Scherie Bennett. Bella Erenfeld and Elli Schulz took fourth with their piece called “Action News: Now with 10% More Action” by Johnathan Rand.
Thanks to a grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Michael Keiser Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, North Bend, Marshfield and Bandon high schools were able to participate in a speech workshop in September. Demond Wilson, a dramatic interpretation national champion as well as a coach of national champions came from Mississippi for a six-day speech seminar. During the seminar, Wilson auditioned speech team members and provided award-winning scripts. In addition, he presented a three-hour workshop to all four schools which included strategies to take a script and make it come alive.
This year’s team consists of 16 diverse and dedicated students - 11 returning and five new speakers, who have the unique opportunity to represent Bandon while competing head to head with speakers from the largest schools in Oregon. This is the fifth year that two freshmen have been accepted onto the team. The captain this year is David Fodrea, who has dedicated much time to debating. Seniors include Fodrea, Jacob Tidwell, Keeton Jennings and first-year senior Kyle Brown. The juniors are Nick Turner, Isabel Winston, Les Anderson, Marino Santoro, Jackson Kennon, and Ruby Toole-Jackson. Sophomores Amelia Russell and Becky Yu are in their second year, and competed last year as freshmen. In addition, sophomores Kyla Harris and Izzy Bean have joined the team. This year’s two freshmen competitors are Bella Erenfeld and Elli Schulz.
This year, there have been several community members help judge tournaments, two who used to be on the speech team including David Vincent and Autumn Moss-Strong.
“We have a young, yet very bright team this year," Fodrea said. "Many of us are starting out fresh and I’m looking forward to coming back every now and then to see how they do in years to come. Coach Curtis and I are having a wonderful time watching the team grow in many different ways.”
The team will present its second Sweet Speeches event of the school year at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Sprague Theater.