by Sharlene Irete
The sweepstakes trophy went to the team from Reno High School, but Douglas speech and debate placed in almost all events of the Sagebrush League tournament hosted by Douglas High School on Jan. 5 and 6.
Including Douglas High and Carson Valley and Pau-Wa-Lu middle schools, there were almost 300 students from 16 schools that competed in the two-day event. The Sagebrush League includes teams from Reno, Carson City, Elko, Fernley, South Lake Tahoe and Fallon.
Reno High School received the most points from all events and will get their name on the Jennifer Jo Smith memorial sweepstakes trophy, named for a member of the Douglas debate team who died in a car accident in 1998. Reno and Douglas are the only two schools who have won the trophy.
The Douglas team is without benefit of a regular speech class but is coached by Paul Mileo and Brian McNulty, University of Nevada, Reno, students and former Douglas debaters.
"Next year, based on freshman enrollment, we will be having a class," said Mileo. "There are a lot of freshmen involved so we're looking forward to growing Douglas debate in the next year. Douglas debate has gone through waves but we're building up again. Next year we'll win our own tournament."
Mileo said Principal Marty Swisher is in the process of searching for a speech and debate teacher for the coming school year and Karen Heine will continue to advise as long as Mileo and McNulty are the traveling coaches.
Mileo said former debate team members send words of encouragement from wherever they are the country.
"We still hear from former members of the Douglas team," he said. "It was wonderful to see Douglas alumnus at the tournament who thanked us. We want the team to continue and prosper. We love every second working with the kids.
"If it wasn't us, it would be someone else touched by Marty Cronin who would keep the team going," said Mileo about the teacher and debate coach who died in 2005.
Douglas participates in tournaments at Galena High School and the University of California, Berkeley, during the month of February.
Results from Jan. 5 speech events:
n Tom Lake, DHS, 5th in Senior Impromptu
n J.R. Stevens, DHS, 6th in Senior International Extemporaneous
n Max Helling, DHS, 2nd in Senior Oratory
n Jake Reid, DHS, 5th in Senior Humorous Interpretation
n Gabrielle Rose, CVMS, 3rd in Novice Humorous Interpretation
n Jamie Skilling, CVMS, 5th in Novice Humorous Interpretation
Results from Jan. 6 debate events:
n J.R. Stevens and Clara Ritger, DHS, 1st in Senior Policy
n Colton Dale and Jamie Lundergreen, CVMS, 1st in Novice Policy
n Max Helling, DHS, 3rd in Senior Lincoln Douglas
n Julia Miller, CVMS, 3rd in Novice Lincoln Douglas