2014-15 Speech and Debate Team Wins Sweepstakes
The Modesto Junior College Speech & Debate team won the 1st Place Sweepstakes award at the Golden Gate Opener in San Francisco, CA from 9/26-9/28. The Sweepstakes trophy is awarded to the school that accumulates the most individual points over the course of the tournament. MJC students competed in events including parliamentary debate, individual events, and Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The partnerships of Ron Thompson/Caterina Grossi and Megan Chatelain/Casey Shoblom represented MJC in the Octo-finals and Semi-finals of Novice Parliamentary debate. These students took home awards after only four weeks of practice, rising through the ranks of 26 other teams and debating topics including relations with Ukraine, recent ESPN scandals, and internet nationalization.
MJC students also won top awards for their individual events, which range from limited preparation, platform speaking, and dramatic interpretation. In Extemporaneous speaking, students have thirty minutes to prepare and practice a seven minute speech with sources. In the Novice division, Megan Chatelain took home Third Place and Casey Shoblom earned a Finalist award. Jon Sahlman proved he is a force to be reckoned with, taking First Place in the Open division. In Impromptu speaking, students have two minutes to prepare a five minute speech based on an unexpected prompt. In the Novice division, Megan Chatelain was awarded Third Place and Caterina Grossi earned a Finalist award. In the Open division, Ron Thompson took home a Finalist award. In Open Persuasive speaking, James Baugh and Jon Sahlman took Second and Third place while Caterina Grossi was recognized as the top Novice.
In Novice Dramatic Interpretation, Rick Morris took Third Place with a piece that explores the tensions between father/son relationships. James Baugh proved his mettle in Open After-Dinner Speaking, taking home a Finalist award for his humorous speech on the Christian left. Jon Sahlman took Third Place in Communication Analysis, a speech that critically examines the rhetorical methods of an art campaign about street harassment.
In Lincoln-Douglas debate, MJC had unprecedented success. In this event, students use evidence to argue for and against the topic. This year, the resolution is about developing earth’s moon for water, minerals, and energy. Students competing in the Novice division were Jonathan Van Horn, Rick Morris, Caterina Grossi, Megan Chatelain, Casey Shoblom, and Ron Thompson. All six debaters went undefeated with 4-0 records in the Preliminary rounds. These students closed out the event and took the top six final awards. In the Open division, Jon Sahlman took home a Quarter-finals award and James Baugh went on to win a Semi-finals award. MJC’s new director of Speech & Debate, Ryan Guy, was quoted as saying “I’m incredibly proud of the MJC squad. Their work ethic and commitment to each other has shown that they are serious players in the Speech & Debate community.”
The students will be performing their events at Speech Night on October 7 at 4pm and 7pm in the MJC Auditorium. On October 10, the team will be travelling to Santa Rosa Junior College for another battle of eloquence, wit, and words.