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The Smoke Signal

The Student News Site of Ripon High School

The Smoke Signal

The Student News Site of Ripon High School

The Smoke Signal

Intense Speech & Debate Competition

Juniors Sean Wallace, Elias Ramirez, and Valeria Chun (left to right)

The Speech and Debate club traveled to Lodi High for an intense competition on Saturday, Jan. 27 against various schools. 

Juniors Elias Ramirez, Sean Wallace and club president Valerie Chun competed in the Yosemite Forensic League (YFL) 5 tournament. The competitors had mixed feelings prior to the big event. “I’m pretty nervous because it’s the first [competition for us] and we’re going against people that have been doing it for a while,” Wallace explains, “but I’m also kind of excited.” 

There were three types of events they competed in at the tournament: duo, informative, and the Lincoln-Douglas  (LD) debate. The duo event prompted two people to act out a scene without the use of any props or contact with each other. Then, there was an informative speech, which is about information that the speakers decide to explain with optional visual aids. Lastly, LD are one-on-one “values” debates arguing topics typically about morality and justice.

Ramirez and Wallace prepared for the novice topic of their LD debates, but unfortunately, the YFL had their novice competitors debate the same topics as varsity (called “open”). Due to this mishap, they only had 20 minutes to prepare for the correct one right before the competition.

The ending result of the tournament was Chun and Ramirez placing third in the open duo interpretation. Chun and Wallace also placed third and fourth with their novice informative speeches.

Chun was satisfied with the outcome and proud of her fellow teammates. “I think they did amazing, especially it being their first time and I’m really proud of them too.” 

Ramirez explained that he enjoyed winning and looks forward to participating in more future debates. However, he felt otherwise before the competition: “I was nervous going into my debates. When [Valerie and I] had our event together, I wasn’t [because] we practiced a lot and I felt pretty good about it.”

Ramirez and Chun plan on competing in National Qualifiers at the end of February.

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Sienna Pimentel
Sienna Pimentel, Entertainment Editor
Sienna Pimentel is currently a Ripon High junior. One of her proudest achievements as a student is maintaining a 4.0+ GPA for her two years of high school so far. After high school, her goal is to be devoted to college to have a successful career as a forensic psychiatrist. During her free time, she plays golf with her family, listens to music, and reads in the comfort of her bedroom.

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