The Daily Item
SUNBURY - On Feb. 16, the Shikellamy forensics team placed second in the Pennsylvania High School Speech League’s District 9 Qualifier Tournament. Ellen Boyer, district chairperson, hosted the event at Midd-West High School. Eight schools from the district sent competitors to vie for slots at the PHSSL State Tournament to be held March 22-23 at Susquehanna University.
Students compete in various categories of speech and debate. The top two places in some events and the top three in others move on to the state level of competition.
The Shikellamy team will be sending 14 to the Susquehanna tournament. The team posted first, second or third place honors in seven events. Those who were crowned District Champions included senior Claudia Pehowic and sophomores Garrett Ruths and Aaron Schaffer-Neitz in Parliamentary Debate, seniors Alyssa Zuback and Kellen Kane in Dramatic Duo, and junior Shelby Snyder in Poetry Reading.
Qualifying with second place finishes were senior Ben Shemory in Commentary, senior Tyler Stettler in Dramatic Interpretation, junior Daniella Snyder in Persuasive Speaking, and freshman Amber Murphy in Prose Reading. Finishing in third place and also qualifying to the state championships is senior Kelsi-Quinn Miller in Poetry Reading.
Additional third and fourth place award winners were senior Alex Wetzel - Humorous Interpretation, junior Adam Leister– Dramatic Interp, sophomores Annie Herbster – Prose, Courtney Hummel – Lincoln Douglas Debate, Larry Herrold – Extemporaneous, and Kyle Snyder – Senate. They will be alternates to the state tournament in the event that a qualifier is unable to attend.
In addition to the 11 qualifiers from Shikellamy, three team members will compete in the supplemental events at States. Courtney Hummel will represent the team in Congress, Annie Herbster in Impromptu Speaking, and Alex Wetzel in Radio Announcing. These events were not part of the district tournament.
This tournament was the first of three qualifying tournaments that bring the forensics season to a close each year. On March 2 the team will travel to Dallas High School to participate in the Catholic Forensics League qualifier. Those victorious at that event will attend the CFL National Tournament over Memorial Day weekend in Philadephia.
Following in a couple of weeks will be the National Forensics League qualifier for the NFL Nationals held in Birmingham, Alabama this June.
“Our entire team has been focused and at the top of their game this year,” said Boyer. “As their coach and advisor, their dedication and competitiveness have made me very proud.”