Saturday, March 5, saw the crowning of the 2011 State Champions at the SDHSAA State Debate & Individual Events Tournament in Brookings. The Watertown High School team, coached by Scott Walker, won the Class AA State Sweepstakes Championship with 221 sweepstakes points while Vermillion High School, coached by Bob Trzynka, captured the Class A Championship with 232 sweepstakes points.
Placing second and third in the Class AA competition were Brookings and Aberdeen Central. The second place Brookings team is coached by Judy Kroll. The Aberdeen Central team is coached by Kerry Konda. In the Class A team competition, Milbank, coached by Doug Tschetter was second with 229 points and Lennox, coached by Mike Larson, was third.
The State Debate & Individual Events Tournament includes some of South Dakotas longest established state-wide high school competitions. During the awards presentations, championships in both Class AA and Class A competition were announced in six areas of competition.
The 97th Annual State Policy Debate Champions are the Brookings team of Michael Aaron and Gabriel Erion, coached by Judy Kroll, in Class AA. In Class A the Lennox High School team of Matt Styles and Simeon Gilbert, coached by Mike Larson, are the 2011 state champions.
In Public Forum Debate, the Brookings team, Kiese Hansen and Sean Higgens, reign as the 2011 Class AA champions. The Brookings team is coached by Judy Kroll. The Milbank team of John Ward and Timothy Whelan, coached by Doug Tschetter, are the 2011 Class A State Public Forum Debate Champions.
Yankton debaters reign as the 2011 Class AA Lincoln-Douglas Debate State Co-Champions. The Yankton debaters are Sophie Holtzman and Olivia Hopewell and are coached by Leo Kallis. In Class A Mitchell Wagner from Milbank High School is the State Champion. He is coached by Doug Tschetter.
The 85th Annual State Champions in the Extemporaneous Speaking competitions were crowned in both United States and International Extemporaneous Speaking. The 2011 United States Extemporaneous Speaking champions are Jacob Clark from Watertown in Class AA and Jesse Nelson from Milbank in Class A. Gabriel Erion, Brookings, won the 2011 Class AA championship in the State International Extemporaneous Speaking contest. Spenser Kavanaugh, Groton Area High School is the Class A State International Extemporaneous champion for 2011.
Erin Williams, Watertown High School, in Class AA and Connor Monsees, Harrisburg, in Class A are the 77th State Champions in Original Oratory.