Photo L to R: Anthony Orellana, Coach Cody Morris, Taylor Hubbs, Ryan Sharp, Connelly Cowan, Taryn Thurman, Reid Pinckard, Caroline Rose
Contact: Kelly Cowan
MPHS Speech and Debate team members compete at TFA State
Seven MPHS Speech and Debate team members competed in the Texas Forensics Association (TFA) State Tournament at Franklin High School in El Paso on March 5-7, 2020. The Texas Forensics Association is open to all public, private, and charter schools in Texas. The state tournament featured students representing 198 schools from across the state of Texas. To qualify for state, team members had to compete at qualifying tournaments earlier in the year and earn a minimum of 12 points by placing in their respective events. At TFA tournaments, school type or size does not divide students. MPHS team members competed against private schools as well as large 6A programs.
In Cross-Examination (CX) debate, the team of Connelly Cowan and Taryn Thurman were the 13th seed out of 84 teams after six preliminary rounds. They became the first MPHS team to advance out of prelims, eventually being knocked out by a team from Jesuit College Prep. Additionally, out of 168 speakers in the CX category, Cowan ranked 24th, and Thurman ranked 27th, separated by only 1/10th of a point. The CX team of Ryan Sharp and Taylor Hubbs had an excellent showing for their first TFA state tournament, going 3-3 in prelims and just missing out on advancing.
In Lincoln Douglas (LD) debate, Caroline Rose earned enough wins in her preliminary rounds to advance. Not only was she the first MPHS team member to qualify for TFA State in LD, but she was also the first to push out of prelims, eventually losing to a competitor from Strake Jesuit. Reid Pinckard also competed in LD, narrowly missing advancing by just one round.
In Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, Cowan finished prelims ranked 21st out of 104 entries and advanced to the quarterfinals. Cowan is the first MPHS team member to qualify for TFA state in extemp and the first to proceed. Pinckard was also the first MPHS team member to be eligible for and compete in TFA state Domestic Extemp.
Pinckard, Sharp, Hubbs, and Anthony Orellana also competed in Impromptu Speaking, offered as a supplemental event on the final day for students not advancing in their primary activity. Pinckard ranked 5th out of 122 entries after prelims and advanced to the semifinal round, placing him the top 18 competitors.
“This weekend was one of those moments where you look back and say ‘we were not supposed to do that,’” said MPHS Speech and Debate coach, Cody Morris. “We are not supposed to be competitive against schools like Jesuit College Prep, we are not supposed to be finishing ahead of The Greenhill School, but we did. Every day, every week, every year, I am amazed. What these students are able to accomplish is no small feat. They constantly push the level of success forward, never backing down. I am blessed, lucky, and extremely proud to have such hard-working, stubborn students that have looked adversity in the face and won. They stared down programs with twice the resources and three times the amount of coaching and didn’t flinch. They put it on their shoulders and came out as some of the top competitors in the state. Having this type of success redefines what students feel they are capable of and breaks the narrative that Mount Pleasant High School puts out anything less than top-level talent. These students are trailblazers and an inspiration to me. I will forever remember the work they have put in. We as a community are better for it.”
Contact: Kelly Cowan
MPHS competes in UIL Math and Science meet at North Lamar
The Mount Pleasant High School UIL Math and Science teams competed in the Dr. Joyce Schaeffer Invitational meet at North Lamar on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Overall, MPHS claimed the championship out of ten schools.
Full results are as follows:
Calculator Applications (1st place team)
9th grade: Devin Castaneda 1st, Param Poudel 2nd, Isaac Hernandez 3rd, Alan Garrett 4th, Jose Trejo 5th
10th grade: Jackelin Gomez 1st, Jonathan Tepetate 2nd, Mary Kait Hereen 5th
11th grade: Miguel Segura 1st, Patricia Roque 2nd, Nicholas Segovia 3rd, Sashi Poudel 4th
Math (2nd place team)
9th grade: Devin Castaneda 1st, Param Poudel 2nd, Alan Garrett 3rd, Isaac Hernandez 4th, Jose Trejo 5th
10th grade: Jonathan Tepetate 2nd, Mary Kait Hereen 4th
11th grade: Miguel Segura 3rd, Patricia Roque 5th
Science (3rd place team)
9th grade: Devin Castaneda 2nd, Param Poudel 3rd, Isaac Hernandez 4th
10th grade: Jonathan Tepetate 2nd
11th grade: Patricia Roque 5th
Number Sense (4th place team)
9th grade: Jose Trejo & Devin Castaneda tied for 3rd, Alan Garrett 5th
10th grade: Sam Sloan 5th
11th grade: Miguel Segura 2nd, Nicholas Segovia 4th
The MPHS Math and science teams will compete at the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association State Meet in San Antonio on March 21. The District Meet is March 28. Osias Hernandez and Larry Russell coach the MPHS math and science teams.