Forensics pros: Tonganoxie students champions once again
Tonganoxie High School has another state title in 2008.
The THS forensics team won its third championship in school history May 3 at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka.
Team members were: seniors Sam Schnittger, Krista Jobst, Jake Bontrager, Ann Erickson and Matthew Williams; juniors Ben Field, David Powell, Ryan Brammer and Alicia Osborne; sophomores Emily Jefferies, Austin Baragary and Nic Irick.
The championship came the same school year as Tonganoxie's 11th state championship in debate.
"It was a great year," forensics coach Steve Harrell said. "We've had state debate and forensics in the same year before, but it doesn't happen very often."
THS was the lone school in the state to win championships in both competitions this school year.
Individual medalists were: Cody Somers, sixth in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Jon Lane, second in Lincoln Douglas Debate; Nic Irick, fifth in extemporaneous; Ryan Brammer, fifth in prose interpretation; Ben Field, third in prose interpretation; Ann Erickson, third in oration; Matthew Williams, second in oration; Alicia Osborne, fourth in informative speaking; Jake Bontrager, second in informative speaking; Ann Erickson, first in informative speaking.
At another event, the State Forensics Festival at Kansas City Kansas Community College, receiving third-division ratings were: Brenden Brower-Freeman, Matt Doyle, Lexi Faherty, Doug Emerson and Elisa Fourt.
Receiving second-division ratings were: David Nussbaum, Ashley Forbis, Kayla Jackson, Josh Hendrix, Lana Dominguez, Sarah Swaim and Marie Faisant.
Receiving first-division ratings and State Festival medals were: Ben Higbee, Miranda Bontrager, Dalton Lawson and Hayley Wheeler.
For the season, THS won 16 team sweepstakes trophies, including six first-place finishes and a Kaw Valley League title. THS students placed in the top 10 individually in their events 255 times this season. The team qualified 33 events to state and fielded a full state championship team as well as a full festival team.
"We've had a real corps of seniors who have been very productive this year," Harrell said. "They were pretty focused on having a successful season. Last year was kind of disappointing.
"We finished fifth in the state and weren't really productive as a squad. And I think the seniors set their minds to change that. And the underclassmen followed suit. We were more productive overall this year."
Lane, Erickson, Irick, Field, Bontrager and Williams will be traveling to Green Bay, Wis., for the national speech tournament during Memorial Day weekend. Williams, Erickson and Bontrager will compete in oratory, Field in prose/poetry interpretation, Irick in oral declamation and Lane in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.