BANDON — Fourteen members, five returning and nine new speakers of the 2019- 2020 Bandon High School Speech Team represented Bandon at the Silverton Fox Invitational Speech tournament held Nov. 9 at Silverton High School.
Bandon’s team competed head-to-head with from speakers from 24 schools of all sizes, including Cleveland, Lincoln, Lake Oswego, Gresham-Barlow, Westview, Glencoe, Oregon City, Sprague, Hood River Valley, Corvallis, McMinnville, and Lakeview.
In the open division for returning speakers, Katie Kilcoyne advanced to the final round in Humorous Interpretation with “My Life in Babysitters.”
In the Novice division for first-year speakers, Daniel Cabrera received second in dramatic interpretation with “Hydrophobia” and third in poetry with a selection of poems on “Love”; Autumn Davis competed in the final round of poetry with a selection on “Anxiety”, including an original poem; Emma Killough placed third novice humorous interpretation with “Vacation 58”; Ailey Knight took second in dramatic interpretation (tie with Cabreral) with “The World I Cannot Touch”, Ailey Knight placed first in novice prose reading of a piece called “Beaten Down: Silently Suffering” by Thomas Hodge; Kayla LaPlante received third in oratory with an originally written piece on “Sleep Deprivation” as well as first in radio commentary on the topic, “Plastics and Their Impact on Our Oceans”; Hallie Minkler advanced to the final round in poetry with a selection on “Music."
Thanks to a grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. 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 video conferenced from Texas for a multi-day speech seminar. During the seminar, Wilson auditioned speech team members and provided award winning scripts. In addition, Wilson met Bandon High School team members in a video conference in October, perfecting their pieces. Wilson will spend time in January on the South Coast, working with Bandon, Marshfield and North Bend speech teams.
This is the first year that five freshmen have been accepted onto the team. Co-captains this year are four-year speakers Becky Yu and Amelia Russell. Seniors include Autumn Davis, Samantha Marsh and Kyla Harris.
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Several community members volunteered to help judge the tournament, including Roger Straus, Jackson Turner, Andy Yu and Jacob Tidwell.
“This year’s team is already doing great," said Russell. "We have tons of new faces and talents. Everyone has such vibrant personalities and they fit together so well it’s like our own chosen family. I have high hopes for this year’s team.”
“I’m really excited for this competition year because I see a lot of improvement in all speech members," said Yu. "This team has connected quicker than past years and we have more new speech kids than returning. These kids have great ideas and I am very ecstatic about where we are going.”
The team's first Sweet Speeches of the season was held Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Sprague Community Theater, with an enthusiastic audience witnessing the exciting dynamics of the 2019-12 BHS Speech and Debate team.
Bandon will travel to Clackamas High School for a Dec. 7 tournament, then to Pacific University January 11-12, Grants Pass Jan. 31, and the University of Oregon February 15-16. The National Qualification tournament will be held at the UO March 13-14, the OSAA district at Marshfield also in March, then the OSAA state tournament at Western Oregon University April 23-25.
This year’s national competition will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.