Jamie Kim news editor
Six members of the speech and debate team competed at Narbonne High School on Jan. 21, with three competitors bringing back awards.
Sophomores Dean Becker and William Lee won a bronze medal and a first place trophy, respectively, in the impromptu event, and junior Ben Dahan won a bronze medal in the extemporaneous event.
“I would say that impromptu is my favorite event because it demands that you consider your options on the spot, and you must come up with the best solution immediately,” Lee said.
Despite their high performance, both Becker and Lee agreed that there was no way to really prepare for this event.
“It’s basically where you walk into a room with a couple of other people, and when it’s your turn, they give you a slip of paper with either three nouns, current events or quotes. You get two minutes to prep and five minutes to give a speech on the topic that you chose,” Becker said. “You just have to wing it.”
Team coach David Finnigan was proud about the overall team performance.
“The boys and girls were pretty knowledgeable about where they needed to go and what they needed to do. A lot of it comes from their experiences at prior tournaments and practices. I am always very pleased that everyone puts their hearts into it and do well, since we always bring home about one or two bronze medals,” Finnigan said.
Despite any nerves that the competitors had felt before each round, the results at the award ceremony proved that nerves had not gotten in the way of the performances.
“It felt amazing winning an award. I got rewarded for doing something that I love and that is always a win-win,” Becker said.
Furthermore, champion Lee, who picket-fenced, which means winning first place in all three of his rounds, was surprised to hear his name called.
“It was very shocking to hear my name being called for first place. They went through the big schools. In third place and in second place, yada yada yada. So, I thought that we were done. But, when they called, ‘In first place, from Beverly Hills High School, William Lee!’ I didn’t talk for like five minutes after that. I was in total shock,” Lee said.
This competition marks the commencement of the club’s busiest months, February and March, which feature many back-to-back weekend tournaments.
However, Finnigan stressed that the experience of simply being in speech and debate club surpasses the medal counts.
“We always say this in speech and debate; it sounds a little silly, like a Hallmark card,” Finnigan explained. “But, we say, ‘Speech and debate is not about the trophies you win. It is about the friendships that you make.”