Speech and Debate Undefeated at Club Rush


Have you ever wanted to debate strangers for fun, research for days, and travel across the US making new friends?

Every few months they have the opportunity to debate a stranger for a long period of time, trying to win over the judges.

Traveling around the US, hours of research, and public speaking are all things that you’ll have to conquer when joining Speech and Debate.       

At Speech and Debate, there are endless possibilities and endless ways to meet new people and travel around the US.

 Competitors  get the opportunity to make lots of friends, travel for competitions, and possibly win awards. 

Sophomore Patrick Woods is a member of the Speech and Debate team, and he joined last year as a freshman. 

Woods chose to join speech and debate because it “seemed like a good choice, and I naturally enjoy debating.” 

What initially drew Woods to Speech and Debate was his sighting of it at club rush last year. 

Woods saw it at club rush and it seemed super interesting, “so I talked to the people there about it and they convinced me to join.” 

His main reason for loving Speech and Debate are the debates themselves. 

He enjoys the preparation for the debates but, “the actual moment when you go up and debate is ultimately the reason I signed up.” 

Woods plans to return to the club this year and do even better.

He has many ambitions for this year and said, “I didn’t really get to do all of what I wanted to do last year due to scheduling issues, so I hope to fulfill what I couldn’t, this year.”  

Woods made many positive memories competing and traveling with his team for competitions.

He said, “My favorite memory from Speech and Debate is when we would all sit down after our debates and just talk about how it went and how it could’ve gone better.” 

Acknowledging the toughness and intimidation of joining a club like Speech and Debate, Woods said, “I won’t lie, it’s gonna be similar to homework but it’s the kind that you like to do and the actual debates themselves are super fun.”

Junior Jeffery Takeuchi, who is also on the Speech and Debate team, agreed with Woods.

Takeuchi said that, “Research is the worst part about Speech and Debate but everything else is super fun.”

Unlike Woods, Takeuchi didn’t join because he saw it at Sunnyslope Club Rush.

Takeuchi joined because, “it would help me go into law which I plan to do in the future.  I want to be a lawyer and Speech and Debate would help a lot.”

Like other members of Speech and Debate, Takeuchi has a lot of favorite parts about Speech and Debate.

His absolute favorite part is “meeting new people and making new friends. Speech and debate allows you to make new friendships.”

Debates are a huge part of Speech and Debate, and arguably the hardest part. 

When asked what a typical debate looks like, Takeuchi said, “Basically, you go to some random school. Sometimes you meet the judge before and then you take your case out and answer questions and debate for like an hour.”

Speech and debate can be very intimidating for new people joining; public speaking is something a lot of people can have trouble with.

Takeuchi said that, “A good tip for newcomers is that listening to others helps a lot. You should listen to others like Mr. King and Sophia (President of the team). Also it’s ok to be nervous. Everyone is nervous.”

Speech and Debate Advisor James King also urges more students to join speech and debate. 

His advice to newcomers is to not be scared and “don’t be shy or timid, and go to your first tournament even if you feel as though you’re not ready because it’s going to make you better.”

King is extremely proud of his team as an advisor. 

King said,  “My proudest moment was seeing a student who kept getting 5th place, or 3rd place all three years, but never really getting that top prize, and then her senior year she just started dominating and getting 1st place at almost every competition.”

He has many hopes for the next speech and debate season and highlights notable members of speech and debate. 

King said, “I’m really excited to see students who were new last year, step up into leadership roles like Emra Muslim and Tiffany Hagan, who only joined speech and debate last year but now find themselves in leadership roles.”

Due to King’s past at SHS, he decided to become an advisor for the speech and debate team as a teacher here.

When asked about his past in Speech and Debate King said, “I became the advisor of Speech and Debate because I was the president of Speech and Debate when I was in high school, so it just felt right to fill that role as a teacher and share my wisdom.”

Last year the Speech and Debate team placed 5th in the state.

King said when they heard the results, “it was actually shocking, I was really excited and I did not think we were going to place that high so when we heard our names get called I was looking around like, did everyone else just hear that!”

The Speech and Debate team is constantly looking for new people to join; they welcome people with any skill level.