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Potsdam takes top honors at Speech and Debate league tournamanent

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MADRID - Madrid-Waddington Central School hosted the next Speech and Debate League tournament of the school year.

As always, the coach and the Yellowjacket team provided a very hospitable environment in which to listen to the students orate, argue and question each other. However, unlike any other schools in the league this year, Madrid-Waddington began the day with a bang.

The fire alarm went off just as the tournament was beginning. So, the competitors, coaches and others all headed for the assigned doors. The temperatures were chilling. There were many activities going on in the school today, so any number of things could have triggered the alarm. Once the “all clear” was announced the tournament was off and running.

The schools participating ncluded Keene, Colton-Pierrepont, Franklin Academy of Malone, Potsdam, and host, Madrid-Waddington. This being the last League tournament Potsdam was looking at this competition as the route to the official retention of the League Championship crown. The other teams really wanted to stop the Sandstoners.

On the Modified side of the tournament, Keene’s DeWalt and Woltner grabbed first prize in the duo dramatic interpretation event. Brian DeWalt also competed in the Modified Declamation interpretation and he took home his second gold medal of the day. Second place went to Madrid-Waddington’s Maria Langford.

Turning to the high school events, in duo-dramatic interpretation, Malone’s Madison Crowe and Taylor Shanty earned third place. Second place went to Potsdam’s Gwen Deuel and partner Elijah Adams. The gold medal was claimed by Colton’s Katie Johnson and Alyssa Santa Agueda.

Dramatic performance has been quite popular this year. Deea Das, Potsdam, battled to a sixth-place finish. In fifth, was Jenna Murtagh from Malone. Keene’s Evella Dalai grabbed the fourth-place prize. Peter Craig, also from Keene, missed the gold medal by the slightest of margins. He got third place. Second went to newcomer, Corinne O’Brien, Potsdam, who presented a piece depicting the trials and struggles of a homeless schizophrenic. The top prize was awarded to Potsdam’s Lucas Bird and his presentation of the closing argument from the legal thriller, “A Time to Kill.”

Original oratory, pieces composed by the students, gives the judges much to think about. Madrid-Waddington’s James Miller grabbed sixth place. Potsdam’s contingent swept the remaining top six. Dominic Frascatore continued to preach his gospel about bacon. Michael Hobbs placed fourth. Third went to the newest Sandstone recruit, Delaney Normile. Her presentation was about the 50 years of Beatle popularity, with special attention rendered Ringo Starr. This was Delaney’s first entrance into the original oratory venue. Deea Das, in her heartfelt plea for understanding and support for our mentally ill citizens, earned the respect of the judges and was awarded the silver medal. It was nice to see her back on the circuit after a bit of a hiatus. The gold medal went to Potsdam’s Brian Timmerman.

In JV Extemporaneous oratory, Lucas Bird finished off a wonderful day by earning the gold medal, the second of his day. He was followed on the podium by Dan Chichester who got the second place prize for Potsdam. Dominic Frascatore, Potsdam, earned the third place prize.

In the Varsity Extemporaneous oratory, Potsdam students again dominated. Gwen Deuel placed fifth. Michael Hobbs earned fourth. Keene’s Peter Craig spoke his way to the bronze medal, third place. Potsdam’s Elijah Adams got the silver prize. Gold went to Potsdam’s Brian Timmerman, the second gold of his day.

Turning to the debate arena, Franklin Academy’s Todd Sprague placed third. Potsdam’s Daniel Chichester earned the second prize. First place and the gold medal was awarded to Potsdam’s Marko Jukic.

The Master Speaker awards were as follows: Keene’s Peter Craig and Potsdam’s Dominic Frascatore tied for sixth place (21 pts/30), Potsdam’s Elijah Adams and Deea Das tied for fourth (22/30 pts), third went to Daniel Chichester (25 /30 pts), second place went to Lucas Bird (27/30 pts), and the Master Speaker earning 29 out of a possible 30 points was Potsdam’s Brian Timmerman.

Potsdam Central School was the top team for the day.

Colton-Pierrepont will host the final league tournament on March 1.

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