Speech and Debate brings home hardware

Douglas High School speech and debate team members Kat Lambrecht and Dave Mathews are the best in the state.

The policy debate team took home a first place trophy from the Nevada State Speech Association tournament held in Reno March 17 and 18.

The freshman team of Clara Ritger and Amy Omohundro came in third in the same competition.

The issue the speech and debate team has been researching for the entire school year is, "The federal government: Should it substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause?"

"Civil liberties is a hot button issue," said Mathews. "We do intensive research and get really deep into details."

Lambrecht said the team has five big tubs of files on evidence, but that's not the only thing that allowed them to win the speech and debate competition.

"Our biggest advantage is that Dave and I have competed together as a team for three years," she said.

Mathews turned 18 the day of the tournament.

"My present to myself was this trophy: Nevada Forensic Association State Championship 2006 - Policy Debate, First Place.

"On March 18, I won state, became an Eagle Scout and became an adult. It was my best birthday yet," said Mathews.

The team will compete in one more tournament April 6-7 at Manogue High School in Reno as a qualifier for the national speech and debate tournament in Arlington, Texas.

As a graduating senior, Lambrecht has confidence to pass the torch to the underclassmen who will continue on the Douglas speech and debate team.

"Our freshmen got third for state," Lambrecht said. "We're proud of them. It's scary to leave when you're a senior but it's reassuring to leave it in their hands."

Carson Valley Middle School students, Ritger and Omohundro, both 15, are part of the same team and train at Douglas. Their third-place spot was also earned for policy debate.

"We owe a lot to the high school team," said Omohundro. "Our subject is a broad topic and we have to be prepared. That's what sets policy apart."

The ninth-graders find an advantage to debating as a team and plan to continue with speech and debate together at Douglas next school year.

Omohundro said having to debate both sides of an issue allows them to learn structure and organization.

"You have to be able to adapt to judges and to the audience," she said.

"I do drama interpretation first in the competition so I get all the nervousness out," said Ritger. "Then I can't wait to go in and debate."

Douglas High School holds their annual Spring Craft Faire from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1 in the school commons. All proceeds go to benefit the speech and debate team. For information, call 782-5135 ext. 1604.

What: Douglas High School Spring Craft Faire

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1

Where: Douglas High School commons

Info: 782-5136 ext. 1604


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