Central Speech and Debate Team has great year

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cape Central High School Speech and Debate Team on Tuesday, May 11, celebrated the recently-concluded 2009-2010 season and recognized competitors for their accomplishments. According to team sponsor Dr. Al Nicolai, nineteen members of the team attained twenty-six degrees of achievement with the National Forensic League, the national honors society for Speech and Debate competition.

Nine students achieved new memberships and the Degree of Merit by accumulating competition points in this year's tournaments. They are Individual Events competitors Cassidy Breann Brown, Lawrece Lewis, Danny McElreath, Matthew Pirtle, and Austin Wicker, and debaters Anthony Paul Guidos, Kelsey Martin, Gavin Pringle and Prithvi Rudrappa. Martin and Guidos won the district championship in Policy Debate and advanced to the state tournament in Columbia.

Three Tiger debaters gained new membership and advanced multiple degrees in the 2009-2010 season. They are Claire Herbst and Clayton Smith, who earned degrees of Merit and Honor, and Jillian Bowers, who attained Merit, Honor, and Excellence.

Several CHS competitors with existing memberships attained higher degrees, as well, including junior Emma Segar, who reached the Degree of Honor, and sophomore debater Lindsey Kolb, who garnered Honor and Excellence degrees. Quitman McBride III won a district championship in Storytelling and narrowly missed all-state honors at the state tournament, accumulating Degrees of Honor and Excellence from the NFL along the way. Debater Lizzie Nussbaum also reached the Degree of Excellence in only her sophomore year.

The top achievements went to co-captains Lessley Dennington and Veda Riley, who both acquired their Degree of Excellence and then went on to the advanced level of Degree of Distinction. They are the first Central High School speech competitors to reach the level of Distinction with the National Forensic League. Dennington, a junior, holds the team record for accumulated NFL points, and will return for another year of competition.

The team sponsor, Dr. Nicolai, who has worked with the team since 1997, was awarded the NFL's Degree of Special Distinction this season.

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