The Canfield High School Speech and Debate Team wrapped up its season after sending 37 team members to the state tournament last month in Wooster, ending up with three finalists. The team also ended up in the state's top 10 teams.
''It's the sixth consecutive season that Canfield has finished in the top ten teams at the OHSSL State Tournament,'' said Jeremy Hamilton, director of the Canfield Speech and Debate Team. ''Canfield is one of only two schools in Ohio boasting that accomplishment.''
Canfield placed ninth as a team. The other school with six consecutive top ten finishes is Massillon Jackson.
Photos special to the Town Crier
Canfield High School's Speech and Debate qualified and sent 37 students to the state finals last month. Team members pictured front row from left are: Samantha Fritz, Mia Battaglia, Samantha Armstrong, Emily Damelio, Lindsay Stevens, Bisshoy Anwar, Arjun Subramanyam, Angela Pupino, Rayann Atway, Julie Gemmel, Megan Factor, Dominique Favre and Paige Brucoli. Back row from left are: Isaiah McInnis-Colon, Maria Stratis, Rosie Bresson, Jonathan Palermo, Jack Cross, Lennon Sackela, Michael Stefanick, Will Brown, Gary Zamary, Billy Quirk, Alec Kan, Richie Abel, Jacob Duda, Lindsay Heldreth, Cameron Maras, Sara Lytle, Kevin Min, Kareem Soliman, Maleck Saleh, Stephen Gant, Richie Jenkins, Erik Svensson, Zack Davison, Christopher Halley and coach Jeremy Hamilton.
From this year's team, three members placed as finalists. Senior Gary Zamary ended up in third place for impromptu speaking, and juniors Stephen Gant and Maleck Saleh placed in the top eight for public forum debate.
In June, seniors Julie Gemmel, Rayann Atway, Will Brown, Kareem Soliman, Arjun Subramanyam, junior Stephen Gant and Maleck Saleh, sophomore Alec Kan, and freshman Michael Stefanick will be heading to Overland Park in Kansas to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament. Hamilton said it is a record number of students this year for Canfield.
To keep in shape and to showcase the talents of the team, a special event has been planned this month. From 7 to 9 p.m. April 24, the Canfield Speech and Debate Team will host the Speech and Debate Showcase. The event will take place in the Canfield High School auditorium and is free and open to the public.
''Anyone interested can [attend and] learn more about the team and some of its top competitors,'' Hamilton said.
Hamilton had a chance to look back over the great season and the accomplishments of this year's team. Those accomplishments include having 66 students place at least once, winning a total of 317 individual trophies of which 51 were for first place, and as a team, winning first place at 12 different tournaments.
The team is under the direction of Hamilton, with assistants Caitlin Beckett, Carole Bogar, Terri Fleming, Jacob Schriner-Briggs, Tim Nesnidol and Sami Nesnidol.