DHS Forensics sweeps four tournaments
Danville High School completed a clean sweep of the four state speech organization state tournaments with a win at the Kentucky District of the National Speech and Debate Association contest held at Centre College March 17 and 18. In that meet, Danville took first in Speech team sweepstakes and second in Congress. Three DHS students qualified to represent Kentucky at the largest academic contest in the world, the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Speech and Debate Tournament, in Birmingham in June: Grace Sheene, first place in Dramatic Interpretation; Charlie Hall, first place in Oratory, and Abigail Anderson, second place in Oratory. Sheene and Hall also qualified in two other events by placing second in them (Sheene, second in Program Oral Interpretation; Hall, second in Humorous Interpretation) but deferred those events for their championship events. Danville also won the District’s Traveling Trophy for accumulated team points; Henry Clay won the Debate team contest with Louisville Trinity taking top team honors in Congress. Also advancing through numerous elimination rounds into the Awards rounds were McCallum Morley, fourth in Dramatic; Joseth Warner, quarterfinals in Dramatic; Caroline Bugg, fourth in the House and semifinals in International Extemp and octofinals in United States Extemp; Abigail Anderson, semifinals in Humorous; Kami Chappell, fourth in Informative; Claire Strysick, semifinals in Informative; Billy Critchfield, fourth in United States Extemp and sixth in International Extemp and fourth in the Senate; Katie Critchfield, semifinals in International Extemp; Celeste Fieberg, semifinals in Oratory and octofinals in Program Oral Interp; Mackenzie Howe, semifinals in Oratory and in Program Oral Interp; Matt Ballard, semifinals in Program Oral Interp.
The week prior, Danville High won the state speech tournament for the second straight year. Sponsored by the Kentucky High School Speech League at the University of Kentucky, the state speech tournament featured teams from around Kentucky who advanced from seven regional contests held in February. Danville’s title was its seventh with Rowan County second, Henry Clay third, Murray fourth, and Lexington Dunbar fifth. Danville won by fifty points over second place Rowan and broke thirty-one entries out of preliminary rounds into awards rounds in the fourteen speech events. Three Danville students were named state champions in their events: Emma Merryman in Impromptu Speaking, Charlie Hall in Oratory, and Grace Sheene in Prose. Advancing to the final round for Danville were Emma Merryman, second in Declamation; Billy Critchfield, fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking; Caroline Bugg, sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking; Paige Glasser and Grace Sheene, fifth in Improvisational Duo; Claire Strysick, second in Informative Speaking; Katie Critchfield, sixth in Informative Speaking; Abigail Anderson, second in Oratory; Charlie Hall, second in Storytelling. Also advancing into awards rounds after three preliminary rounds were McCallum Morley, semifinals in Broadcasting and quarterfinals in Dramatic; Mackenzie Howe, quarterfinals in Broadcasting and in Program Oral Interpretation; Havannah Martin, quarterfinals in Broadcasting and semifinals in Dramatic; Natalie Grubbs, semifinals in Declamation and quarterfinals in Storytelling; Claire Strysick, quarterfinals in Declamation; Virginia Harp and Samantha Sallee, semifinals in Duo Interpretation; Abigail Anderson, semifinals in Humorous; Becky Mohr, quarterfinals in Impromptu; Matt Ballard and Charlie Hall, quarterfinals in Improvisational Duo; Sara Barringer, semifinals in Informative; Celeste Fieberg, semifinals in Oratory and quarterfinals in Program Oral Interpretation; Paige Glasser, semifinals in Poetry and in Prose; Joseth Warner, quarterfinals in Prose. Danville also won a year’s possession of the team Traveling Trophy for accumulated sweepstakes points. Additionally, at the state debate tournament the day prior, three DHS students advanced into the Super Congress session after six hours of preliminary debate: Billy Critchfield, Kami Chappell, and Becky Mohr.
DHS began March with its twenty-first straight win of the annual Louisville Diocese of the Catholic Forensic League’s annual national qualifier for the Grand Nationals. DHS placed first by a wide margin, nearly doubling the score of second place Bethlehem and third place North Oldham. Twelve DHS entries advanced to compete in the National Tournament over Memorial Day weekend in Louisville (Danville is one of several Kentucky schools co-hosting the national event). Advancing for the Admirals were Emma Merryman, Natalie Grubbs, and Haley Hopkins in Declamation; Grace Sheene in Dramatic Interpretation; Abigail Anderson and Matt Ballard in Duo Interpretation; Billy Critchfield and Katie Critchfield in Extemporaneous Speaking; Joseth Warner in Oral Interpretation; Charlie Hall and Celeste Fieberg in Oratory; Caroline Bugg in Student Congress.
With a win at the KESDA Forum in February, DHS became only the third team in Kentucky history to win all four of these contests in the same year; the other two were the Danville teams of 2008 and 2012. DHS remains the only Kentucky school to ever win all four of these contests at all. DHS Forensics takes a break until the national contests in May and June. The team will host a Spotlight for the public at 7 PM on May 22 in Gravely Hall at DHS.