Four Wauseon High School students will be taking part in the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA for short) national tournament taking place from June 15th through the 20th in Overland Park, Kansas. Sophomores Breanna Demaline and Clarissa Johnson, along with juniors Brenden Kost, and Motoki Maxted will represent Wauseon in the national tournament.
“We are very honored and pleased to be taking these speakers to the NSDA national tournament this year, as it is no small accomplishment to qualify and all of these students deserve our congratulations.” These are the words of Speech and Debate coach Dolores Muller.
Demaline and Johnson will be competing in Duo Interpretation, Kost in International Extemp, and Maxted in Humourous Interpretation.
While the speech team has had great success in the past, Muller said that this year is one of the most successful. “ While we have qualified students all but three years in the past 19, this is the largest number of students we have ever had qualify at one time” Muller said. “The competition at the national tournament is unlike any that we have faced all year in its diversity. That being said, our speakers are very talented and have had a very good year of competition.”
This year alone, Maxted has finished in the top two in humorous interpretation in the Western Ohio district of NSDA, which covers nearly the entire western half of the state of Ohio. He also finished tenth out of 52 competitors at the Ohio High School Speech League state finals this past March.Kost has also enjoyed great success this year. He placed at many tournaments during the regular season. He also made it to the final round at the state tournament in International Extmep, placing sixth overall in the state of Ohio. Demaline and Johnson have had their fair share of accomplishments this year, tying for first at state qualifiers and going to the state tournament where they placed 25 and just missed progressing past prelims by one place. The duo finished in the top two at NSDA national qualifiers, which gave them a ticket to the national tournament. “ they are competitive speakers and there is no telling how far that might take them, but their records definitely recommend their doing well” Coach Muller said.
The speech team looks to continue their success in to the future. “Of the 18 speakers we took to state qualifiers, 10 qualified for state. This placed us fourth in the district, just behind some significantly larger and very competitive teams” stated Muller “Of these, Kost and Maxted, as well as junior Cole Stiriz in Dramatic Interpretation (DI) progressed past prelims. Like Maxted, Stiriz went all the way to the semi-final round, finishing eighth overall in the state in DI. This is very good and bodes well for next year given that none of these speakers are seniors.”
Muller is in her 16th year of coaching the Wauseon Speech and Debate team. She says that her favorite part of coaching the team is watching the progression of her students. “As for what I most enjoy about coaching speech, there are many things, but the top one is working with all of the dedicated and talented students who have graced our team. And while everyone loves a winner, I have also enjoyed working with those students who give it their all every week — whether they make it to the winners’ circle or not. Speech is a very individual-oriented activity where there is the opportunity for each participant to come away from their time on the team as a better speaker and a more confident individual. As a coach it is very fulfilling to see those who participate overcome limitations and grow in ways that they might never have imagined possible.
Although the competition will be stiff, Coach Muller has confidence in her students, and wanted to be sure to thank them for all their efforts. “I am confident in them and look forward to their representing Western Ohio and more specifically Wauseon. I’d like to say, “Thank you, students, for taking us to nationals. We are very, very proud of you all!”.
Best of luck to the four competitors taking part in the tournament!