Luke Ballmer

Credit%3A+Aysen+Tan%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Megan Kearney

Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon PressSenior Luke Ballmer competed at the Speech and Debate Tournament for the fourth year in a row. This year, he placed fourth out of 56 competitors in national extemporaneous speaking.

Ballmer exceeded his expectations when hoping to improve from the prior year.

“My original goal was just to make it to semi-finals, seeing as I was the next person to make it to semi-finals when I competed in national exemp last year,” he said. “I ended up placing fourth, which definitely surpassed any expectations I had.”

Ballmer admits to being slightly obsessed with speech and debate, but does not regret it for he has learned a lot and improved tremendously.

“I learned that if you actually obsess over something for a long time, then you will actually improve and get better at it,” Ballmer said.

Following his love for talking, Ballmer joined after hearing about the team, and he immediately fell in love with the team when he joined.

“My teammates did not immediately love it when I joined the team. I was spastic, loud, annoying, and very incapable of expressing myself,” Ballmer said. “Speech and debate taught me how to care about what’s happening in the world, how to research complex topics, and all of that nice stuff, but most beneficially to me, it taught me how to calm down.”

Ballmer does not think that he will ever forget his coaches, and is thankful for all of his teammates support.

“I will quite literally never forget Mr. Villa, Mrs. Kindred, and every teammate who stuck around throughout the years. Their support and help was incalculably valuable and I would be a much worse person without them,” he said.

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