An inside look at Speech and Debate

An inside look at Speech and Debate

Hannah Ragland, guest writer

Long bus rides, card games between rounds and hanging out in hotel rooms. No CMR Speech and Debate meet would be complete without these things. Members of the C.M.Russell speech and debate team, The Talking Rustlers, have a lot going for them this year.
“I believe we are doing well. There is definitely room for improvement, which we will make,” junior Nathan Maycroft said. Maycroft is a member of the debate side of the team.
Head speech and debate coach at CMR is Alex Rosenleaf, who also teaches U.S history. Rosenleaf said of his position as head coach on the team, “It gives me a chance to see the brightest and best minds at CMR engaged in the topics of today.”
The Talking Rustlers have attended three meets this season in Havre, Helena and Missoula.
“The meets are a lot of fun; they also give us a chance to connect with other kids from different cities and teams,” sophomore Jackson Joyner said. Unlike Maycroft, Joyner participates on the speech side of the team.
The team has five more official meets this season. The Montana Model United Nations (MMUN) in Missoula is not an official Talking Rustler event, but may still be attended. The remaining meets include Kalispell on Nov.19-20, Billings on Dec. 10-11, and Butte on Jan. 14-15. Great Falls is Jan. 28-29, which is the MHSA 2010-2011 Class AA State tournament at CMR and Great Falls High School. The National Forensics League Montana District Tournament will be at Bozeman on Feb. 11-12.
“I think we are all pretty much excited about the upcoming meets,” Joyner said.
The speech and debate team offers an educational and fun experience for CMR students; it also builds relationships between the participants.
“We are all like a big family,” Joyner said. “We are really close.”
Each Talking Rustler joined for personal reasons and ended up enjoying it.
“I made a commitment to Ms. Stone that I would join and it was love at first debate,” Maycroft said.
Freshman Hannah Cubbage said. “I joined because my dad was a coach. I did not think I would be this fun, but I love it.”