Speech and Debate Team advances to Nationals

Most high school teams only dream about going to State let alone Nationals, but the Speech and Debate team will be sending junior Henry Smith to Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete in the nationwide tournament.

“Nationals is the culmination of our season,” said coach Jeff Hannan. “We hope to send around 10 students to Nationals every year.”

The tournament won’t take place until June 12 to 17. The speech and debate team will continue to have other tournaments between now and then, with hopes of sending more students to Nationals.

To advance to Nationals a student must place in the top three of their field during the district tournament. During the district tournament on March 4 to 6 Henry Smith was the only ETHS student to qualify by placing 2nd in the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

“ My success is all thanks to my fabulous coaches, and my teammates who deserved to qualify too,” said Smith. “I’m looking forwards to going to Salt Lake.”

Junior Honor Allen won first alternate so if one of the other Illinois contestants back out of Nationals, Allen will have the opportunity to go.

Captain Logan Pearlman knows what it’s like to be an alternate and then go to nationals.“I was an alternate last year and I found out I was going only two weeks before the tournament,” said Pearlman. “It’s sad though, because we wanted to bring more people like we did last year.”