Speech, debate succeeds at state meet

Senior Logan Kropp concluded four years with the C. M. Russell High School Speech and Debate team last weekend but anticipates further competition.
“It’s my last time competing with the CMR team. It is over in a way,” Kropp said, adding that he hopes to compete in college.
However, Kropp can expect one more meet with his coach Cindy Clapp.
For the second year in a row, Kropp has earned his way to the National Speech and Debate Meet to be held in Dallas, Tex., starting June 14.
“The honor is just going to Nationals,” Kropp emphasized. “I gave up All-Northwest Choir to go to it. I took a gamble and thank God it paid off.”
The National Qualifying Meet took place over Valentine’s Day weekend, and the top three performers in each event won a trip to Nationals. Kropp took second.
“This was the meet that counted,” he said.
Kropp, who competes in Dramatic Interpretation, anticipates upwards of 260 people aiming for the title.
“I don’t plan on going to finals. That’s for the elite of the elite,” he said.
Dramatic Interpretation is an event in which the speaker prepares a 10-minute excerpt from a piece of literature or a play.
“I’ve been working on this piece [The Boys Next Door by Tom Griffin] since July,” he said.
Speech and Debate coach Tom Cubbage has high hopes for the team after sustaining large losses due to senior graduation. While Kropp is one of two seniors this year, 17 seniors left the team last year.
“Most of the students are either freshmen or sophomores,” Cubbage said. “We were kinda starting from scratch.”
Cubbage said he has high hopes for next year due to exemplary performances from freshman McKenna Ostentowski and sophomore Kelsay Jensen.
“Our young competators really improved, even placing in their events. I’m excited about next year,” Cubbage said.
“I did my best, which I feel is necessary,” Ostentowski said. “I’ve improved a lot. I’ve gotten better through the year.”
She added that she enjoyed travelling with team and learning more than speech and debate.
“I get to put myself out there and learn life skills,” Ostentowski said.
“Speech and Debate has given me lots of life skills. It’s indespensible because of that,” Kropp agreed. “No matter what you do, you’re going to have to talk to people.”