On Saturday November 5, 2016, the Midlothian High School Forensic Speech and Debate team hosted teams from across Virginia, for the first competition of the season, the VHSL Midlothian Speech and Debate Invitational. Coaches David Wilson, Daniel Cheatham, Adam Schwab, and Madeleine Smith prepped Midlo’s team to face the competition head-on. New team members and new pieces coupled with inspiring dreams as 273 (Two hundred seventy-three!) entries poured into Midlothian High School, words and pieces in hand as each respective competitor vied for victory. The competition’s field was difficult; students ranged from first timers to grizzled VHSL state winners in their respective categories.
Students compete with competitors outside of their VHSL divisions, which allows them to meet competitors they would not typically face. For example, a state winner in division 3A of an event may compete against the division 4A state winner of that same event. This is unlike that of VHSL Conference, Regionals, or States competition. Not only do invitationals offer a different level of competitiveness, they also offer many first-time forensicators the opportunity to try something for the first time. The Midlothian High School Forensic team is rebuilding after losing so many incredible graduating seniors; however, Midlo’s new competitors made it clear on Saturday that they would step up to the plate.
MHS freshman Nour Goulmamine refused to back down as she fought valiantly to secure 4th place in Prose Interpretation, an event that requires both confidence and skillful analysis and acting of a prose categorized piece. Many veteran team members also left their comfort zones at the door as they tried new events for the first time. Justin Pollard, a multiple award winning Serious Dramatic Interpretation competitor, walked away with 1st place in Original Spoken Word, an event that demands students to create their own poetry to perform and interpret for a 7-10 minute performance in front of a live audience.
The results do not lie; Midlothian High School Forensics made a huge statement on Saturday with nineteen placing entries. More important than placing, the team unified and faced one of the biggest fears people face in our society today: public speaking.
Please congratulate the following Midlothian High School Forensicators for placing in their respective events:
1st Place Trophy
Justin Pollard – Original Spoken Word
Joitree Alam – Prose Interpretation
2nd Place Trophy
Vraj Gandhi – Prose Interpretation
Yusuf Goulmamine – Humorous Dramatic Interpretation
3rd Place Trophy
Michael DeMatteo – Impromptu Speaking
Billie VanStory – Duo Interpretation
Karl Villareal – Duo Interpretation
Quentin Phillips – Extemporaneous Speaking
4th Place Medal
Mac Cartier – Student Congress
Bethany Crisp – Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Elijah Dorman – Public Forum Debate
Jinwoo Kim – Public Forum Debate
Nour Goulmamine – Prose Interpretation
5th Place Medal
Justin Pollard – Serious Dramatic Interpretation
Noah Dorman – Humorous Dramatic Interpretation
Jason Li – Public Forum Debate
Sai Poluri – Public Forum Debate
6th Place Medal
Charles Miller – Student Congress
Jack Stid – Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Avnee Raje – Extemporaneous Speaking