Speech team hosts meet

Novice competitors learn new skills



The team shows off medals won after finishing the meet.

Nicollette Arabie, Editorial Team

The Buffalo Speech and Debate team both hosted and competed in their first full meet of the season Saturday – a teaching tournament designed to show novice students how to compete and then allows them to practice a couple of rounds. The team had two competitors in novice Congress, two teams in novice CX, and one team in varsity CX; they competed against 17 other schools.

Junior Emma Cocking got a late start on the instructional portion of the teaching tournament because she spent the first part of her morning running in the Cross Country meet in Fairfield. Cocking has competed in extemp speaking in the past, but she is new to Congress. Cocking tied for fourth with sophomore Tristan Cole, who is competing in speech for the first time this year.

“It was really great learning experience,” Cocking said. “I was really excited to go.”

The novice CX team, made up of junior Alyncia Jackson and freshman Kaylen Sanchez, placed sixth overall. The second novice CX team was a pair of eighth graders. This was Kaleb Barzda and Genevieve Arabie’s first ever speech tournaments. While the two will not be able to compete at the high school UIL level this year, by practicing in invitational meets like Saturday’s, they will be able to get a head start on their high school debate careers.

“I’m excited to get the junior high kids working before they make it to high school because it means they will be ready to hit the ground running next year,” debate coach Melonie Menefee said. “I’m always excited to work with new students and help our team grow.”

The only team in varsity CX consisted of junior Cylen Brown and Nicollette Arabie. The pair competed in three rounds and placed third overall. It was their first time competing together, with Arabie’s partner Omar Almeida graduating last year. Arabie is also on the hunt for a Congress bid to the Tournament of Champions in Congressional Debate.

“We have high goals for this year,” Menefee said. “We have just a small team, but we are hoping to work as hard as we can and accomplish more than ever before.”