Forensics Team Heads to the State Tournament

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Forensics Team Heads to the State Tournament

Maria Castro

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After months of hard work and dedication, the MHS Speech and Debate team prepares for the State Tournament. Following their recent winning streak, the team is heading to Hunterdon Central Regional High School for the State Tournament on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16th. The tournament lasts two days and will bring together competitors from all over New Jersey. All season, students work to obtain a coveted spot at states by placing in any of the prior tournaments that school year. This year, MHS has a record breaking number of competitors who have qualified for states, surpassing the number of students they’ve sent in the years since the team was formed.

This year, all 4 of the team’s debate partnerships have qualified, as well as competitors in Declamation, Program Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, and Impromptu speaking events. Most of this year’s competitors are underclassmen, but that doesn’t change the amount of passion and success they’ve exhibited all season. For example, novice public forum debate partners Mouctar Diarra and Nicholas Imerlishvilli are only freshmen, but they became the first debaters in MHS history to win first place, and they now have the most wins out of all the debaters this year. When asked about their success and how it feels to be going to the state tournament, Mouctar said, “I accredit my success this year to the help of both my debate coach, and the other members of the Forensics Debate team. They showed us the ropes and helped us achieve our potential.” Fellow debater, freshman Grace Perun, who qualified for the state tournament back in January, says “It’s a little surreal, I never would have expected it.”

The MHS Forensics team has excelled this year, even placing as one of the highest average scoring teams at Elizabeth high school’s February Tournament. Speech Captain Yiraldo Campos, is extremely proud of the team’s triumphs this year. He says, “This team is a great example that with hard work and patience, anyone can succeed no matter the obstacles.” Yiraldo himself is a finalist in two events this year. He continues to say, “I am so proud of the team and for them to be making it to states really shows how all the effort they put in, all the hours of hard work, is really showing. I hope they take all the knowledge they gained from this season and keep it for seasons to come.”

As they prepare for the state tournament, each of the students are putting in countless hours of research and rehearsal, hoping to continue their winning streaks and secure their own spots at nationals. Even if they don’t bring home the gold, I think we can all agree that the Forensics team has grown to new heights that no one would have expected, we wish them the best of luck.