Speech and debate dominates; NH students win competitions

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Speech and debate dominates; NH students win competitions

Caitlyn Allen, News Editor

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     North Harford’s speech and debate team is making an appearance at recent competitions. Freshman Andrea Fetter, junior Taylor Mason, and senior Ryan Blosser win first and second in a recent speech and debate competition at Fallston on Thursday, Oct. 24. 

     Fetter placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking, Blosser placed first in the Lincoln Douglas debate, and Mason placed first in Declamation and second in Children’s Literature.  

     All the students were proud of themselves and each other when they placed in their last competition. Mason claims she was “very excited because it’s very hard to win, and not everybody gets the experience to do it.” Fetter says she felt “over joyous like it was unreal.” According to Blosser, he has been placing first in speech and debate for a while. “I am very humble that I win, but for me it’s not about the medal.” 

     The three students all say preparation is key to success. Mason says, “for speech, you research online different pieces and find one you are passionate about and then practice like you are in front of a judge.” Fetter says, “for debate, you still need to do research, but you have to practice your arguments rather than practicing your written speech.” Blosser says he “breaks down the question into more specific details to better understand what they are asking.” 

     “Speech and debate is so fun because we get to be so close with all the other members and we get to bond over something people usually find really scary, public speaking,” says the junior. Fetter claims “the community is the best part and she loves sitting on the bus eating food at nine o’clock at night.” Blosser says “the team is my family.” 

     The freshman claims she started speech and debate because she has “a really big passion for speech and debate.” Mason started because her brother was in speech and debate when he was in high school and he inspired her. “It’s cool to see what he did to what I do now and how we both got to become co-captains.” Blosser claims he started because of former North Harford student, Hannah Herron. “She inspired me to partake in so many extracurricular activities and to put myself out there.” 

     Mason is most looking forward to “seeing the other pieces that people prepare” because there is “always a wide variety of interesting topics I never thought about.” Fetter is most looking forward to “coming closer with the members since this is [her] first year.” According to Blosser, he looks forward to “finding more ways to improve my skills.” 

     The junior claims the most she has learned from speech and debate is public speaking. “People think it is something you can be naturally good at, but it really takes practice.” The freshman claims that she has learned “sometimes no preparation is best. Staying calm and not overthinking is what helps me the most.” Blosser says he has learned “preparation, time-management, and preparation are key.” 

     The speech and debate team’s next competition is on Nov. 7 at Joppatowne.