Forensics team debates to success
Last year, no one knew about the JC Forensics team. The team had only one member and no awards. However, on Oct. 6, that all changed when the team, now with five members, went to C. Milton Wright High School to compete and took home four first place awards.
History teacher Bob Schick is thrilled with the recent success of the Forensics team. This year is the first time Bob and foreign language teacher Richard Wojewodzki have moderated the Forensics team, also known as the Speech and Debate Team.
Both enjoy moderating the Forensics team. “I like seeing the students succeed,” said Wojewodzki.
Even though he just joined the Forensics team this year, junior Adam Kuester won first place in Reader’s Theater with sophomore Martha Schick. “It’s performing in a way,” Kuester, who is also active in the theater department, said.
Martha gives most of the credit for her win to Kuester. “He has most of the lines, I just helped out,” said Martha. Kuester used four different voices in the scene and acted out in several different ways.
But Martha took home an award of her own. She won first place in Children’s Literature and freshmen Megan Greig won first place in original oratory.
Senior Sydney Comitz won first place in Interpretative Poetry at their last meet. According to Comitz, “the judges really like to see how you interpret [the poetry,] so you really get to put your own spin on it.”
Still, a unique spin is not all that is required to win a Forensics event. “There are lots of strict guidelines to follow,” said Wojewodzki. Competitors can be penalized on going over their time limit, not making enough eye contact, or stumbling over their speech. These strict guidelines make practice crucial to success.
The Forensics team has group practices where members make sure that they are reading expressively, standing with good posture, and staying within their time limit. Even with group practices every member practices individually. Comitz puts in a little extra practice as well. “After Yoga Club I have a private practice with moderator Wojewodzki from four to five o’clock,” said Comitz.
All the practice leads up to the meets. “Students from 11 schools in the county come to compete in individual event and debate events,” County Coordinator for the Harford County Speech and Debate League Susan Burnett said. There are two rounds with several different events going on at once.
After the events are over and the judges are adding up the scores, the kids eat pizza and drink soda while they wait to see who won. According to Bob, when first, second and third place are announced there is “applause and mild screaming.”
The Forensics team only has five members right now and they would love to have more. This sentiment is mostly due to the fact that the members enjoy being a part of the team. “I like it because it forces you to be expressive with your voice rather than with your movements,” said Martha.
Forensics “encourages self expression,” said Burnett. Everyone involved in Forensics love it for a different reason. Some love the competition and other love the fun. “It’s a competitive subject, but you can be really silly,” said Comitz.
Kirchner can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.