Speech and Debate is Gearing Up

Kayla Sanders, Staff Writer

After a winning streak for the past five years, the Speech and Debate team is back at it again.

“I’m focusing very heavily on recruiting freshmen and sophomores, we are trying to pull together a task force on that,” said president Marley Fortin, junior.

The team is looking to expand their size and see some new faces in the crowd this year.

“We’ve had people go to the National Speech and Debate Association’s National tournament in Birmingham, Alabama,” said Coach Matt Enmark.

Along with this national tournament, the team has also had students go to the National Catholic Forensics League National tournament, the California high school speech and debate association tournament and many more.

“I have been the coach for Rio Americano Speech and Debate since 2012,” said Enmark. During high school Enmark was on the speech and debate team, where he developed his passion for the subject.

When his daughter Natalie Enmark came to Rio Americano six years ago, her father required her to do speech and debate and stepped up to coach the team.

“My personal goal is to provide an opportunity for students,” said Enmark.

Enmark, being a volunteer coach for Rio, does not get paid and only wants to help the students succeed in their everyday life.

“As a team, the goal is to improve our speaking abilities as well as to have fun,” said Enmark.

There is a bond that is formed between teammates whether it is formed at an away tournament, team dinners or other team activities.

“At first I joined speech and debate for college applications”, “as I continued with speech and debate I learned that it was more than something that I could just list on my college applications, it helped me so much with my public speaking and gaining confidence,” said Fortin.

“I think speech and debate really has something for everyone,” said Fortin.

Whether you are politically minded and want to debate other people and express your opinions, you are a more drama based person, or even if you are creative and want to write your own speeches, there really is something for everyone.

“I did a lot of things in high school. I was in band, I was on the Speech and Debate team, I was in all kinds of academics and academic teams. If I had to give up everything including being Valedictorian, I would not give up speech and Debate,” said Coach Enmark.

Even as an engineer, Speech and Debate has served Enmark well.

The Speech and Debate team meets Tuesdays at lunch in room A-3 and Wednesdays at night from 7-9p.m. The only requirement is the willingness to get up and speak.