News Brief: Four return from State Speech and Debate Tournament full of inspiration

Bella Bobrow


This year, Foothill sent four representatives to the state tournament: Sydney Wilkov ‘18, Isaac Goldstein ‘17, CJ Haberbush ‘17 and Courtney Corbett ‘17. None of the competitors “broke” – that is, made it to the next round of competition.

Wilkov competed in Expository, an informative style of speech. “Even though I didn’t necessarily do as well as I wanted to, I definitely enjoyed the entire tournament. I learned a lot, especially about my area of speech,” Wilkov said.

Goldstein competed in Student Congress. “That involves basically being put in a room with 14 other kids and then debating various resolutions,” he said. He completed his three guaranteed rounds, but did not advance farther. He also qualified for the state tournament last year.

In one of his rounds, Goldstein was rated No. 1 (best), No. 7 and No. 10 by the three different judges. Corbett and Goldstein said this spoke to the subjectivity of the sport. “It seems like the judges were very different in how they viewed my speech,” Goldstein said.

Corbett and Haberbush competed in Parliamentary Debate, a spontaneous form of partner debate that often focuses on current events and politics. They were guaranteed three rounds and, of those, won one and lost two, meaning they would not advance.

The round they won was about water regulations. Corbett explained that her favorite part of the tournament was getting to use a film she had seen with her aunt as evidence in this round. “That was really fun,” she said.

The duo lost their last round according to all three judges. “It ended up being a total political pile of crap,” she said. “Oh well. The fact that I didn’t feel completely crushed by any of our other teams was good, it meant we were relatively on the same level,” Corbett continued.

This is the first year that Speech has been offered as an eighth period class, as opposed to a voluntary after-school activity.

“I thought eighth period would kill it,” advisor Jennifer Kindred said. “And then the exact opposite happened. More people came, and that surprised me.”

The official debate year is over, but Wilkov and Kindred both said they were excited to bring back techniques they learned at the tournament to make next year’s class more structured.

“The people who have stayed have a genuine interest, and we have 50 people signed up for the team next year,” Wilkov said. “There are so many things we did this year that can be improved for next year.”

The Speech and Debate team is holding Festival of Fools, their annual fundraising event, on May 18 and 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. Details for auditions are in the bulletin.

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