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Potsdam opens second half of speech and debate campaign with another win


POTSDAM - The local speech and debate teams came to Potsdam’s Middle School Saturday for the first tournament of the second half of the season. This initial contest featured a change of the events offered.

Those to be contested in the second half of the season include oiginal oratory (a speech composed, memorized and delivered by a student), duo-dramatic performance (two students present a conversational piece from literature or plays), dramatic performance (a selection from literature that involves its performance by a student who has memorized the piece), extemporaneous oratory (a student selects a topic from pre-designed choices and has 30 minutes to prepare a speech extolling the virtues of the topic or condemning its premise, and Lincoln-Douglas debate (a debate based on defense of the value that the competitor selects as his/her operating system). Prior to the first bout, there was promise of excitement and intensity.

The modified level of competition involved duo dramatic interpretation and declamation.

Declamation involves the selection of a speech originally authored and offered by another person like a politician or celebrity and the reading of the speech in the way that the student believes best presents its message. Brian DeWait of Keene Central earned the silver medal, being bested only by Colton-Pierrepont’s Brooke Wilson. Brooke took home the gold medal this day.

In duo dramatic interpretation, students from Colton-Pierrepont and Madrid-Waddington squared off. When all the rounds were completed, Claire Rousell and Sarah Morrill placed sixth place. In fifth was Madrid-Waddington’s Maria Langford and Emily Giorgi. Fourth went to Madrid’s Emily Bracy and Emily Pelkey. Colton’s Brooke Wilson and Kara McKinley grabbed third place and the bronze medal. The silver medal went to Madrid-Waddington’s Katharine Dinneen and Allison Giorgi. First place and the gold medal was earned by Colton-Pierrepont’s Madeline Rousell and Grace Rousell.

Turning to the high school events, Original oratory was well attended. In the end it became a struggle between Franklin Academy’s students and those from Madrid-Waddington. Josh Oshiro and Madison Crow, both from Malone, tied for fourth place. Team mate, Jordyn Black, placed third. Second place went to M-W’s James Miller. Alyssa Ryan, Madrid-Waddington, claimed the gold medal.

Duo dramatic interpretations saw a wide variety of subjects as the two-student teams vied for the gold. Five schools were represented. In the end, Madrid-Waddington’s Kathryn Travis and Alyssa Ryan grabbed the gold. Keene Central’s Joanette and Amirault came in the second position, one point behind the winners. Third went to Franklin Academy’s Madison Crow and Taylor Shanty. Colton’s Andrew Jenkins and Sabrina Johnson placed fifth. The Potsdam team, Anna DeRosa and Gwyneth Heuser, earned sixth place.

In dramatic interpretation, Potsdam and Colton-Pierrepont locked horns. Lucas Bird, Potsdam, a novice to this event, gave a stirring rendition of the closing argument from the movie “A Time to Kill.” For his efforts he earned sixth place. Colton’s Andrew Jenkins grabbed fifth place. Fourth place went to Colton’s Alyssa Santa Agueda, another novice to this category. One point behind the eventual winner there was a tie for second place between two Sandstoners, Anna DeRosa and Brian Timmerman. First place and the gold medal went to Potsdam’s Gwyneth Heuser and her presentation of “We Can Get That For You Wholesale.”

JV Extemporaneous oratory pitted Potsdam against Madrid. Daniel Chichester, Potsdam, earned fourth place. The bronze medal and third place went to Lucas Bird. Madrid’s James Miller broke the Potsdam stranglehold and grabbed second place. First place and the gold medal was earned by Potsdam’s Marko Jukic.

In varsity extemporaneous oratory, Potsdam claimed the top three places. Brian Timmerman outdistanced his team mates with straight first place votes. He won the gold for his efforts. Second place went to newcomer, Gwen Deuel. The Sandstoners rounded out the top three with Michael Hobbs grabbing third place.

In the Lincoln-Douglas debate arena, Malone’s Donovan Connolly placed fourth. Gwen Deuel, in her initial venture into the Lincoln-Douglas venue, placed third. Potsdam team mate, Daniel Chichester, earned second. And Sandstoner Marko Jukic outtalked his opponents to straight first place votes and the victory.

The Master Speaker for this day was Marko Jukic, who scored perfect scores in two events. Brian Timmerman, Potsdam, and Madrid-Waddington’s Alyssa Ryan, tied for second place. James Miller, Madrid-Waddington, placed third. Potsdam’s Gwen Deuel and Gwyneth Heuser earned fifth and sixth respectively.

The tournament scores revealed Keene earned fifth place. Fourth went to Colton-Pierrepont. Franklin Academy bested Colton-Pierrepont by one point to place third. Madrid-Waddington placed second. And Potsdam continued it winning ways with the victory on this day. Next tournament is in Malone on Jan. 11, 2014.

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