The Fitch Speech and Debate Team closed a good season and qualified fifth for national competition in June. At that event, the Fitch head coach Andrea Folsom also will receive a special award.
At the state competition March 1, the Falcon team took home first place out of 56 teams from across the state. The first place finish was for cumulative sweepstakes and the team also took sixth place in the team sweepstakes.
State final round speakers included Logan Pasqual and Jarret Kerpsack for third place in duo interpretation, Rachael Wyant for fifth place in prose and poetry, Jensen Hykes who was sixth in prose and poetry, Robyn Minkewicz who was fourth in impromptu speaking, and Josh Pittman who was an Octa finalist and took first in the preliminary rounds of Lincoln Douglas debate. Placing in the finalists for top 12 in the state was Kayla Sabo for impromptu speaking. Quarter Finalists placing in the top 24 in the state, were Mykaylah Pearson in drama, Mia Colon and Maia Totterdale in duo, Emily Kollar in humor, Cassie Wirtz in impromptu, Carmen Burk in international extemp, Albert Jordan and Christian Robert in oratorical, and Jessica Harker and Garrett McGitty in U.S. exempt.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Fitch Speech and Debate Team coaches and state finalists pose after the state competition with their plaques. Pictured are head coach Andrea Folsom, Jensen Hykes, Rachael Wyant, Logan Pasqual, Jarrett Kerpsack, debate coach Ron Deamicis, Josh Pittman, debate coach Alysia D'Amico, Robyn Minkewicz, and impromptu coach Lauran Ferguson. Fitch will be sending five to national competition in June as well as having a special coach award presented to Folsom.
Qualifying for the National competition June 14 to 21 were Jarrett Kerpsack and Logan Pasqual in duo interpretation, Carmen Burk in international extemp, My'kaylah Pearson in drama, and Josh Pittman in Lincoln Douglas debate.
''The team is on a bit of a break right now,'' said head coach Andrea Folsom. ''We went from the state tournament, right into speech night last week, and we are currently prepping for the banquet. The kids will be fundraising and will start up practice for nationals toward the end of April.''
Folsom said students qualify to the state tournament through the Ohio High School Speech League district tournament and they qualify to nationals through the National Forensic League tournament.
''They are two separate qualifying tournaments because we belong to two different speech leagues that we compete in,'' Folsom said. ''One is on the national level and the other is on a state level. The coaching awards are based on the national standards. We also currently have seven students on our team that are ranked in the top ten students in the nation in their categories based on the points that they have gained through tournament competition.''
Folsom, who has been coaching for seven years, will be receiving the Diamond Coaching Award for her professional career that combines excellence and longevity. Folsom and debate coach Alysia D'Amico also will receive the Donus Roberts Ruby Coaching award for reaching their 1,000th National Forensic League coaching points.
Folsom said the Donus Roberts Ruby ward comes from the students gaining points weekly at tournaments. The coaches each receive a portion of the student's points and earns the award when a certain number is reached.
Folsom earned the award Jan. 27 after accumulating 1,501 points as a coach. The points represented one-tenth of the points her students earned as members of the National Speech and Debate Association. After a minimum of five years coaching, a coach that attains 1,500 points is given the award. A coach is then in the running for a second Diamond award when 3,000 points are reached and a third one at 6,000 points. Each of those awards is given after another five-year period.
On June 19, Folsom will be recognized and presented the Diamond award during the national competition held in Overland Park, Kansas. Each year that tournament draws over 5,000 of the nation's best speech and debate students.