Hard work pays off for Fossil’s Speech and Debate team


Melanie Smith

Coach Jackson and his team getting ready for a tournament

Lily K, Academics beat writer

Fossil Ridge High School’s Varsity Speech and Debate team is preparing for their impending season, which kicked off on November 2nd, while Novices are dominating in their season thus far, consistently placing in the top five.

Coach Robert Jackson, who has been teaching Speech and Debate at Fossil for two years now, praised the students work, mentioning the Novices, who have nine new members and have at two tournaments placed first and second. 

Varsity had a favorable outcome during their first tournament with Connor Tyree achieving an outstanding in Lincoln Douglas debate, and senior Anna Rehm claiming second place. Meanwhile Ethan Sherman got 6th in international extemporaneous speaking, and Olivia Wang got second in Drama.   

Meeting every Tuesday at lunch, practice is rigorous and the members all display dedication to make a powerful impression at their first tournament on Saturday, November 2nd, at Loveland High School.

Highly versatile, there are many different events students can compete in. Junior Melanie Smith, who became involved in Speech and Debate as a sixth grader, tried out tons of different events before she found her niche claiming, “I’ve competed in Speech and Debate since sixth grade. I started off competing in Prose, then humor, and I competed in Public Forum debate for a few years, but my favorite event is definitely congress.”

Discussing why she has stuck with Speech and Debate so long, Smith mentioned, “Speech and Debate has allowed me to make new friends that I otherwise would have never gotten to know. I love my team so much, we are always really supportive and it makes waiting for your round at a tournament one of the best parts of the season.” She also revealed that being part of Speech and Debate is one of the things she is most proud of, remarking,  “I went to Nationals this summer to compete in Congressional Debate. It was such an incredible opportunity to represent Fossil at the National tournament.” 

Encouraging each other and amassing hours of research and practice, this year’s Speech and Debate team appears to be headed toward a victory filled year. 

Melanie Smith
Varsity members Melanie Smith and Olivia Wang at Nationals, June 2019