COOS BAY - Fifteen members - 10 returning and five new speakers - of the 2017 Bandon High School Speech Team represented Bandon at the South Coast Invitational Speech held Oct. 7 at Marshfield High School.

Bandon’s team competed head-to-head against 303 entries from 16 schools, including speakers from Ashland, Coquille, Crater, Grants Pass, Illinois Valley, Marist, Marshfield, Mohawk, North Bend, North Medford, North Valley, Phoenix, South Eugene, South Medford, Springfield, and Willamette high schools.

Overall, Bandon well, said BHS speech team coach Tyler Curtis. The team captured one dual interpretation award this time around: the dual team of Nick Turner and Les Anderson placed second at the tournament with "Hot Dog Time Machine" by Alan McGuire. In open expository, Ruby Toole Jackson made it to finals with a presentation about censorship. Marino Santoro placed third in open expository with a piece on the current opioid epidemic. Jackson Kennon took second in open expository with a piece about the history of technology.

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 with Demond Wilson, a dramatic interpretation national champion and coach of national champions. Wilson 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 Marshfield and Bandon, 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 sixth year that two freshmen have been accepted onto the team. The captain this year is David Fodrea. Other team members include seniors Jacob Tidwell, Keeton Jennings and first-year senior Kyle Brown. Juniors include Isabel Winston, Nick Turner, Les Anderson, Jackson Kennon, Marino Santoro and Ruby Toole-Jackson. Sophomores include Amelia Russell, Becky Yu and first-year sophomores Kyla Harris and Isabella Bean. The two freshmen are Isabella Erenfeld and Elli Schulz.

Several community members volunteered to help judge the tournament, including Autumn Moss-Strong, Eddie Miller, Helen Slack Miller, Kathy Cowan, Carol Ramey, Virginia Rice, Rose Garrett, Bernadette Kapocias, Michele Winchell, Robert Bean and Vicki Pasternak.

Sweet Speeches

The first Sweet Speeches of the season will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Sprague Community Theater.

"Put the date on your calendar, come out and show your support for your speech team, and witness first hand the exciting dynamics of the 2017-18 BHS speech and debate team," Curtis said

Bandon will travel to Ashland High School for the Nov. 3-4 tournament, then to Clackamas High School for a Dec. 2 tournament.

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