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MPISD – News

MP Speech and Debate team members at the UT Tower.
Front row L to R: Merlin Cardona, Gopi Amin, and Angie Hernandez
2nd row L to R: Anthony Orellana and Madeline Tumey-Simmons
3rd row L to R: Taylor Hubbs and Connelly Cowan

Anthony Orellana and Connelly Cowan with their speaker awards.

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Speech and Debate competes in National tournaments

The Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate team competed at the Longhorn Classic on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin on December 3-4. The tournament featured 108 schools from 13 states. MP Speech and Debate took seven team members who competed in five different categories.

In Policy Debate, the team of senior Connelly Cowan and junior Anthony Orellana advanced to double octofinals as the 12th seed out of 28 moving entries. However, Greenhill School, a large private school in Dallas, eventually eliminated them. Cowan earned a 16th place speaker award, and Orellana earned a 20th speaker award out of 144 competitors. They are the first MPHS team making awards in Policy debate at this prestigious tournament.

In the Lincoln Douglas debate, newcomers Gopi Amin and Angie Hernandez saw success, winning two rounds. In International Extemporaneous Speaking, senior Taylor Hubbs placed second in her prelim rounds, narrowly missing advancing to the quarterfinals. And juniors Madeline Tumey-Simmons and Merlin Cardona gained valuable experience at the national level in Dramatic Interpretation and Congressional Debate, respectively.

Earlier this semester, Cowan and Orellana completed online at the University of Michigan High School tournament on November 6-7.
They again advanced to double octofinals as the 21st seed out of 120 entries. The policy division featured 50 schools from 15 states and Taiwan.

“This semester has provided us with some challenges, but I am glad to say that the members of this team are a solid and brave bunch,” said MPHS Speech and Debate coach Enrique Martinez. “They have stepped up and learned from all of their competitive rounds, regardless of whether they won or lost. I am very proud of the new members for staying motivated and working hard, and the returning members have played a significant role in that. Everyone is buying into the cohesion of this team, seeking each other for help and reference. All of this is allowing everyone to grow together upwards. We hope to take these learning experiences into the spring semester as we look to compete and qualify for various major tournaments. I am very proud of the growth, improvement, and progress that each member and the team has made since August. Now we look forward to taking that and competing at the highest level possible in each circuit.”