Panther Speech and Debate team improve at state


Mrs. Nicole MaierReitz

The Powell High school speech and debate team ride the bus back from their state competition in Riverton, Wyoming.

The Powell High School Speech and Debate team competed at their state conference at the Riverton High School over the weekend. The tournament started on Thursday, March 7 and lasted until the evening of Saturday, March 9.

In total, 17 students competed at the tournament. Coaches Mrs. Nicole MaierReitz and Mr. Hans Hawley traveled with the team, along with chaperone PHS science teacher Mrs. Lenita Moore.

The team competed in Poetry Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation (POI), Extemporaneous Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, and Original Oratory Interpretation.

“Even though most of our competitors didn’t break [went to semi-finals or finals], we did really well as a whole team,” junior Duncan Bond said. “Next year, we should be able to see more improvement from this year.”

Bond earned third place for his POI in the All-State category; he gained the third most points in his event out of all of the 3A schools.

We did really well as a whole team”

— Duncan Bond

Senior Shaelynn Theriault placed second in the Lincoln-Douglas debate All-State category and senior Lucy Sullivan placed one below her at third in the same category.

Senior Aidan Hunt and junior Nic Fulton make it through to semi-finals in Duo Interpretation, junior Lauren DeWitz went to quarter finals for Poetry Interpretation and the three debaters, Theriault, Sullivan and senior Bennett Walker made it to octo-finals for Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

Theriault, the team captain, will miss attending the tournaments and helping other team members achieve in their events.

“I was much more successful this year than last, as a captain and as a competitor,” Theriault said. “This year, I really had a goal in mind and did everything in my power to make sure that goal was reached.

“I think that our improvement came from new coaching and dedicated leadership, and I was super grateful to be a part of this team.”

The next step up will be attending the National Qualifiers tournament and then the National tournament. Nat Quals will follow up on Thursday, March 14 and will run through Saturday, March 16. This will take place at the Green River High School. The National convention will take place June 16 through June 21, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.