Teamwork and devotion propel speech and debate to the top

Speech and debate starts early to get ahead


Senior Sarah Morgan practices her speech to Senior Tara Yazdan Panah and Junior Joshua Tran.

Finn Corrigan, Editor-in-Chief

As school gets back into full swing so does one of Carlsbad High School’s most successful teams, speech and debate. The members have been researching, practicing and refining their skills since the beginning of August.

The team has historically been very successful, as it is in the top 1% best teams in the nation, and #1 in Southern California. Many members of speech and debate feel that success lies in the teamwork and passion they demonstrate.

For almost every single person I’ve met on speech and debate, it’s their passion.

— Annaliese Bunchman, 10

“For almost every single person I’ve met on speech and debate, it’s their passion. For instance one of the captains is enrolled in fourth and sixth period speech and debate and after school he’s also there for seventh period and he’s not even enrolled,” said sophomore Annaliese Bunchman, a first year member. “Every kid I’ve met in there, that’s like their family. I think that really helps everyone band together and take it seriously.”

This dynamic is helpful to the team both before and during the competitions. Currently, the members are learning their material and practicing under the guidance of their captains and coach, Mrs. Curtis. Each event has an experienced student captain who teaches and helps those in their event.

“It’s a very decentralized system in that [Mrs. Curtis] assigns the teaching role to the captains,” Nick Trotta, a second year member, said.

The methods of teaching and practicing vary depending on the event. It can be anything from blocking a monologue from a play to simply staying informed on the news. This preparation is a key aspect of the team’s success during their multiple competitions each year.

“A competition will usually take a whole day,” Trotta said. “You get up at five or six and get in formal business attire.”

Many students enjoy these competitions as a way to use their skills and spend time with their teammates. Eventually, the team moves on to the state and national competitions, the latter being reserved for the best of the best, and taking place over the summer. And while the season and work are fun and important, in the end it is the relationships and team bond that proves most important to the team members.

“The people make speech and debate, not the scripts themselves,” Bunchman said. “I just love the people.”