The Ball Street Journal

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There’s no Debate, the Tors Are Tops!

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On September 21 and 22 the Ball High School debate team competed against 23 other schools at the Clear Falls High School Speech and Debate Tournament. The tournament turned out to be one of the Tor debate team’s most successful tournaments so far this year.

On Friday eight competitors from Ball High participated in the prelims for Speech and Debate and all eight competitors advanced to semifinals that began at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

In addition, all the Tor competitors in Poetry, Impromptu, Humorous Interpretation, Informative, Oratory and Cross Examination advanced to the semifinals in their respective categories. First time (Novice) competitor Alexis Bratton; Poetry Interpretation, and Mitchell Willis, competing in only his second high school speech tournament, Impromptu Speaking, made it to the semifinals.

Samhitha Kempaiah won two Knight trophies! (The Clear Lake mascot is a Knight) She earned a first place trophy for Oratory and a second place trophy for Informative Speaking. The judges awarded Kempaiah the Best Speaker Award for the entire event, a remarkable accomplishment in a field of 23 teams.

The Best Speaker Award is given to one competitor every tournament. Ball High’s Kempaiah was the tournament champion, earning 55 speaker points overall. Summer Bentinck earned a second place finish in Humorous Interpretation (HI) and awarded a Knight Head trophy. Bentinck, proud of her second place finish, but a fierce competitor, hoped that the first place reward would be hers. “I felt as though all the work I’ve put into this was finally paying off,” she said, “but now the hard work begins as I try to qualify for state in my event HI.” Bentinck earned four speaker points and needs eight more to qualify to compete in the state tournament.

Thirty-three schools competed at the Clear Falls Speech and Debate tournament in the various categories. Ball High School placed 7th out of the 33 schools while fielding only ten competitors. This speaks volumes about the effort of the students and the acumen and skill of their coach, Mr. Michael Merritte, who is no stranger to developing outstand orators during his tenure at Ball High.

“The Clear fall Texas Forensic Assoc. Tournament has to be one of the best overall team success ever for the Galveston Ball program, with every team member advancing to prelims. “Seventh out of 23 overall, job well done!” He said in excitement “It’s all about quality over quantity!”

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There’s no Debate, the Tors Are Tops!