State High Forensics Team Attends La Salle Tournament


Photo Courtesy of Elisa Edgar

The State High Forensics Team pose with their awards after last year’s tournament at La Salle, Wyndmoor PA, December 14. This year, the team had to compete virtually.

Adam Lieb, Staff Writer

The State High Forensics Team took on their second virtual tournament of the year on Dec. 11 and 12. Typically, the La Salle tournament would be held in person at La Salle College High School, but this year, due to safety concerns, the tournament was held virtually. 

From State High, freshmen Karen Yee and Addison Hart were co-champions for first place in Novice Lincoln Douglas debate and sophomore Jennifer Wang took first place in JV Prose. 

Yee was able to win a particularly difficult debate, the highlight of the tournament for her.

“My proudest moment from the tournament was most likely my fourth round, where I was up against someone from LaSalle,” Yee said. “The judge for that round was an attorney, so he had a lot of experience with debate, so I was quite nervous. Not only that, but my opponent was a very good debater, and I was very proud when I won that round.”

Wang’s speech performance increased as the tournament went on, eventually securing her a seat at the top.

“I did better as the tournament progressed. I think that watching the other competitors was a huge inspiration for me. It really motivated me to strive higher and do even better in my next performance. By the time I was performing for finals, I had long surpassed the first performance I gave during the preliminary rounds,” said Wang about her performance. 

During the tournament, Wang didn’t let any mistake throw her off her path towards first place. 

“I messed up my lines two times–the introduction and the first setting transition–but I continued on smoothly without pausing or stuttering. I improvised on the spot for a short while before transitioning back on track with the story. I was amazed afterwards that I didn’t panic and give myself away to the judge,” she said.

Wang hopes to improve on varying the volume of her voice to express the story in a more compelling way and help her bring her characters to life. 

Despite not placing, the Forensics team still made technical and event advancements compared to their last tournament. 

“[I] definitely [saw improvements]. I’m proud of all the State High debaters that took their experience at our last tournament and improved on their case/strategy in order to be more successful at this one,” said Kueyoung Kim, volunteer judge and Forensics President. 

In addition to that, the club has also made developments in it’s team spirit. 

“I think the team is improving its sense of community and team pride. In past years, Forensics has often been an activity where you focus on yourself and have minimal interaction with team members, but I think that the team environment has shifted significantly to where we encourage working together and forming a community,” Kim observed. 

Kim praised the team and their performance in the tournament. 

“I thought that everyone did a fantastic job preparing for and debating this topic. It’s definitely a strange year for debate having to attend virtual tournaments, but all the rounds I judged went well,” he reflected.

The future looks promising for the forensics team and the captains hope to further the new talent in the club further.

“I think our team is currently starting a new era. The young speakers and debaters in the club are extremely promising and passionate about the activity, which is incredibly exciting to see,” Kim said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to improve as a club and reaching the point where we can be competitive at nationally regarded tournaments.”

The State High Forensic Team will next compete virtually in the North Allegheny Tournament on Jan. 8-9.


Tournament Results:


Novice Policy- Pittbsurg Central Catholic Cynkar and Ramirez

JV Policy- Strath Haven Ding and Hansen

Open Policy- Pittbsurgh Central Catholic Heller and Osth

Novice Lincoln Douglas- State College Area Yee and Hart

JV Lincoln Douglas- Pennsbury Michael Davis

Open Lincoln Douglas- Pennsbury Gabrielle Bamberski 

Novice Public Forum- Pennsbury Lakhani and Patel

JV Public Forum- JR Masterman Scott and Chancey

Open Public Forum- Pittsburgh Central Catholic- Evans and Matous

JV Congressional Debate- Southern Lehigh Nithin Bommareddy

Varsity Congressional Debate- Danville Area Jyoti Alaparthi

Bro. Kevin Dalmasse, FSC sweepstakes winner- Pennsbury High School


Informative- Pennsbury Amanda Qu

Program Oral Interpretation- Unionville Anju Zhang

JV Humorous Interpretation- CR North Karen Leifer

Varsity Humorous Interpretation- Pennsbury Daniel Kim

JV Dramatic Interpretation- Solebury Ima Enodien

Varsity Dramatic Interpretation- La Salle Dan Boyd

JV Original Oratory- Academy at Laurel Springs Independent Rhys Beutler 

Original Oratory- Gwynedd Mercy Ava Harvest

JV Poetry- Delone Catholic Riley Slee

Poetry- Pittsburgh Central Catholic Christian Farls

Declamation- Pennsbury Amanda Qu

JV Prose- State College Area Jennifer Wang

Varsity Prose- Holy Ghost Prep Mike Georges

JV Extemp- St Joseph’s Prep James Bidwell

Extemp- St Joseph’s Prep Anthony Hays

Speech sweepstakes winner- Pennsbury High School

Overall sweepstakes- Pennsbury High School