The Hennessey High School speech and debate team had their first outing of the new year at the Crescent Tournament the weekend of Jan. 24-25. The team finished with a first place championship division win, defeating seven other schools from both classes 3A and 4A, and a second place showing in class 3A, behind the neighboring team from Okarche. The team is coached by Linda Soudek.

Individual team members placed as follows:  Senior Claire Ullery had a strong showing with a 4-0 run in champ Lincoln-Douglas debate and a first place finish, along with partner Jaden Matthews, in 3A humorous duet, and a second place finish in 3A humorous interpretation. As always, senior Nadia Valles also finished strong with three first place showings, in 3A original oratory, champ foreign extemporaneous speaking, and in cross-examination debate with partners Ronny Robles and newcomer Luis Duran. Senior Pedro Valle also had a 4-0 run in champ Lincoln-Douglas debate, receiving second place, and also earned third place in champ domestic extemporaneous speaking. 

Sophomore Milisa Heskett brought home three first place medals as well, one for champ cross-ex debate with partner Ashland Crites, one for 3A domestic extemporaneous speaking, and for champ standard oratory. Crites also won first in champ monologue and second in champ domestic extemporaneous speaking. Sophomore Jaden Matthews, in addition to the duet medal, took third place in champ standard oratory. Sophomore Rachel Miller took first place in 3A prose as well.

In addition to his first place medal in debate, freshman Ronny Robles brought home second place in champ prose and second place in 3A domestic extemporaneous speaking. Freshman Raiven Bedford also competed for the team in final rounds, earning points toward the team’s sweepstakes wins.

The HHS speech team will be traveling to Haskell in February for their next tournament as they move closer to preparing for the regional tournament in March.