(MODESTO, CA)—The Modesto Junior College Speech & Debate Team won the first place Sweepstakes Award at the Golden Gate Opener held September 26 through Sept. 28 in San Francisco. 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. The 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. Extemporaneous speech students, using sources, have thirty minutes to prepare and practice a seven minute speech and Jon Sahlman proved he is a force to be reckoned with, taking first place in the extemporaneous open division. In the Novice division of extemporaneous, Chatelain took home third place and Shoblom earned a finalist award. Chatelain also garnered third place and Grossi earned a finalist award in the novice division of impromptu speaking, in which students have two minutes to prepare a five minute speech based on an unexpected prompt. In the open division of impromptu, Thompson took home a finalist award. Grossi was recognized as the top novice in persuasive while James Baugh achieved second and Sahlman took third place in open persuasive speaking. In novice dramatic interpretation, Rick Morris took third place with a piece that explores the tensions between father and son relationships. Baugh also proved his mettle in open after-dinner speaking, taking home a finalist award for his humorous speech on the Christian left. Sahlman took third place in communication analysis, a speech that critically examines the rhetorical methods of an art campaign about street harassment.
MJC had unprecedented success in Lincoln-Douglas debate, in which students use evidence to argue for and against the designated 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, Morris, Grossi, Chatelain, Shoblom, and 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. Sahlman took home a quarter-finals award and Baugh went on to win a semi-finals award in the open division of Lincoln-Douglas debate. “I’m incredibly proud of the MJC squad,” said Ryan Guy, MJC’s new team coach. “Their work ethic and commitment to each other has shown that they are serious players in the speech and debate community.” The speech team will perform their events at Speech Night on October 7 at 4 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. in the MJC Auditorium. The event is open to the public and tickets available in advance for $5 at the MJC Box Office. Tickets will be $8 on the day of the performance.
The MJC team will travel to their next competition at Santa Rosa Junior College on October 10 for “another battle of eloquence, wit, and words,” according to Coach Guy. For more information about the team and upcoming events, contact Coach Guy at email@example.com or (209) 575-6110.