By Greg Overman
Three Forks Head Coach 



January 27, 2021

The Speech and Drama team competed digitally at the Southern B/C divisional tournament hosted by Townsend High School on Saturday. The Speech team won the tournament for the 2nd consecutive year, and the Drama team placed as runner-up for the 3rd time this season. The Speech team scored 184 points collectively with the 2nd placed team scoring 46 points. Divisional champions in their individual events were Mikey Olsen, Finn Hanson, Molly Collins, AJ Boyd, Ravyn Lewis, Amber Horton, Falisha Dale, and Josh Williams. Also placing in the top three of their respective events were Ayden Israel, Madison Griffiths, YenHang Fan, Gabryelle Veltkamp, YenShae Fan, Alexis Welch, Saryna Smith, Lauren Stone, Mae Partain, Ally Kamps, Alex Kunish, Lauren Welch, Zoe Pyfer, and Des Nienhuis. Collectively, the Speech & Drama team qualified 41 students for the state tournament this weekend to be hosted by Huntley Project, which is the most students qualifying in the school’s recent history.

As mentioned, this is the 2nd consecutive year that the Speech team has won the divisional tournament, with last year being the first time in the school’s history. Yet, last year’s team only won the tournament by a few points, so to score a collective 184 points to the 2nd place’s 46 points demonstrates how far this team has come in one year, and how they have responded to the digital competitions this year. After winning the divisional tournament last year, the team then went on to place 3rd at the state tournament. The goal is for the improvement that we have established this season to carry through to the end. Also, a goal of ours is always to finish strong in both Speech and Drama, not just one or the other, and the divisional tournament shows that this is happening.

A strong collective on Saturday was the group of debaters for our team. The debate team started this season in a strong fashion, but in the middle of season experienced some growing pains as competition improved and individual teams learned to work together. On Saturday, the debaters created their strongest performance of the season with 4 of the 6 final round spots going to Three Forks. The teams of Finn Hanson/Mikey Olsen and YenHang Fan/Madison Griffiths debated against each other in the final round. Gabryelle Veltkamp & YenShae Fan debated in finals. Ayden Israel went 3-0 in the qualifying rounds and Allen Wilcox went 2-1 in the qualifying rounds. That level of success in one day for that group of students is truly impressive and sets them up for the end of the season. 

The Drama team only possesses three “teams” of theater, and those three teams placed 1st, 1st, and 2nd collectively in their events of Classical & Dramatic Theater. That degree of collective success mirrors what the debate team accomplished on the other side of the team. For Ravyn, Amber, Josh, Falisha, Lauren, Zoe, and Des to all be competing at that level at the end of the season foreshadows what they could accomplish this weekend.

The Speech & Drama students probably grow tired on the consistent mantra that is given to them throughout the season: “It’s what we do at the end that matters.” With every success and every failure, that is the message that is sent. This team has one more meet of competition, so that message now matters. These students have set themselves up to succeed at the end, and now it’s time for them to give it a shot.


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