After clinching its second consecutive district title, the Ione Speech and Debate team traveled to Western Oregon University in Monmouth to compete in the state tournament. Ione took 11 students, covering three different styles of debate, student congress and five different individual events. Ione finished fourth in the small school division.
Dennis Schmidt and Kevin LaRue went 1-3 in Public Debate, Tiana Camarillo and Alex Carlson went 2-2 in Public Forum Debate, and Mary Gates went 3-1 in the preliminary rounds of Lincoln Douglas Debate advancing to octo-finals; while Ronney Wilson, Tom Holland and Jeremy Coleman competed in Student Congress. In the individual speech events, Brenna Rietmann competed in both Impromptu Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking, and Matt Coleman just missed advancing to semi-finals in Radio Commentary.
Highlights among the speech events included Dennis Schmidt advancing to semi-finals in Expository Speaking and Mikey Raible advancing to finals in After Dinner Speaking. Raible competed in his final round in front of an audience of 600 where he came away with a second place medal.
In Speech and Debate, all competitors from all schools (1A through 6A) compete head to head in all rounds. After all points are tabulated, the Oregon Schools Activity Association then calculated a champion in each school size classification. In team sweepstakes, Ione competed with schools having a student body of up to 850.
Coach Jim Raible said the Ione team has made huge strides in only its third year of competition. The team attended 16 tournaments across three states this year. Raible credits the hard work and dedication of the students, raising about 80 percent of its own expenses by running the concessions during fall and winter sporting events. Raible also credited the organizational skills of team secretary Brianna Peterson and the support of the staff, the administration, and the Ione Booster Club.
"Speech and debate has changed the lives of these young people. They have made friends not only from Oregon, but from all over the western United States. They have learned to respect diversity, think critically, and speak intelligently."