Falmouth speech team takes state championship

For the first time since a team was created four years ago, Falmouth’s Speech and Debate team became state champions after successfully competing against nearly 300 competitors from schools across the state at the Maine State Championship Tournament in Bangor Jan. 27.

Thirteen speech events were held with three rounds before three judges, who chose the state champion in a final round held for each event. Two styles of debate competed in four rounds before semifinals and finals were held prior to a panel of three judges choosing the state champion. Congressional Debate held mock legislative chambers throughout the day, debating student written legislation before a panel of three scorers and a parliamentarian selected the eventual winners in each of four chambers. The team edged out the reigning champ, Skowhegan High School, and the debate team took third place in debate sweeps.

Results from the speech and debate teams were as follows: 

Duo: Sophie Harrington and Stella DelTergo, fifth place

Humorous Interpretation: Sophie Baker, state champion

Informative Speaking: Caitlyn Bull, second place, Jacob Seeker, third place, Kerry O’Donnell, fourth place

Oral Interpretation of Literature: Sophie Baker, state champion

Oratorical Declamation: Shruti Joshi, fifth place

Novice Poetry: Sophie Harrington, third place, Stella DelTergo, fifth place

Novice Prose: Shruti Joshi, third place

Varsity Public Forum: Catherine Carpenter and Ellie Rudnick, third place; Ellie Adams and Taylor Cunningham, fourth place

Storytelling: Shannon Dye, second place

Sweeps Awards

Speech: Falmouth High School, state champions

Debate: Falmouth High School, third place

According to coach Jessie Grearson, the team just competed last weekend in Poland at the Catholic Forensic League qualifiers, where nine students qualified to attend the National Speech and Debate tournament in Washington, D.C., in May. A final national qualifier for the National Speech and Debate tournament will be held Saturday, Feb. 10 in Brunswick.

“Falmouth is sure to be a large force this year,” Grearson said. “Stay tuned!”

Falmouth High School’s speech and debate team won the Maine Speech and Debate Tournament in Bangor. Competing were, back row from left, Molly Healey, Shruti Joshi, Kerry O’Donnell, Emma Auer, Shannon Dye, Jacob Seeker, coach Jessie Grearson, Sophie Harrington, and Stella DelTergo. Kneeling are captains Caitlyn Bull and Sophie Baker.