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The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Invitational Tournament at UC Berkeley

The speech and debate team attends the invitational tournament at UC Berkeley.

Members of the Foothill Speech Team piled into two minivans on Thursday, February 11, for a six-hour drive that would take them to UC Berkeley. There they competed for two days in one of the biggest invitational forensics tournaments in the nation.

The tournament, which boasted about 2,000 entries from schools right here in California and as far away as Illinois, featured a variety of speech and debate events such as Public Forum debate and Dramatic Interpretation that Foothill students competed in.

Even Foothill alumni got in on the action, as former speech team members like Hillary Knouse and Michael Manset volunteered to judge events.

This is the fourth year that Foothill’s team has taken the trip, and coach Jennifer Kindred believes that it provides a valuable opportunity for the students.

“It was good for team bonding, and our debate team held their own.”

This was especially true in Public Forum, where Foothill seniors Trey Anderson and Aidan Fenwick made it to triple octafinals. That means out of the 200 or so debaters entered into the event in teams of two, they passed the first round of eliminations and finished in the top 32.

“It (Berkeley) is exhausting and nerve-wracking,” said coach Anthony Villa.

The exhaustion, which Kindred also noted as being a big part of the tournament, was due in part to the hectic schedule of the events the comparatively small Foothill delegation participated in. Different events had different schedules, sometimes starting early in the morning or ending as late as 10 pm at night.

Villa quickly amended his assessment of the tournament, however. “It’s also one of the most fun events we have all year.”

The wide variety and the sheer scope of competition in the tournament certainly gave the team more practice and experience as they prepare for the upcoming tournaments that will determine whether or not they qualify to attend this year’s state tournament in Bakersfield.

Whatever else Berkeley means for the team, Villa noted with a laugh, “the cupcakes there were definitely worth the drive.”

Photo: “Speech kids in their natural habitat.” Juniors Jim Bern and Bryan Hickman stare each other down in between events. Photo by Geneva Douma, The Foothill Dragon Press.

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Invitational Tournament at UC Berkeley