WHS speech and debate kicks off virtual season

Reporter | December 2, 2020 1:00 AM

The Whitefish High School speech and debate team began practicing in late October and are preparing for the first competition of the season, which is slated for Dec. 4-5.

Prior to the school year, the ability to have extracurricular activities at the high school was largely unknown because of the restrictions revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic. However many activities, like speech and debate, have found ways to safely resume meetings and practices.

Speech and debate head coach Sara Mueller says her team has been able to practice “relatively normally,” while following general health precautions including social distancing and mask wearing.

“We really value our community taking these steps, too, so that we have the best chance for a complete season and to see our students at school,” she said.

Competition is set to begin this week as Whitefish hosts the first tournament of the year, although it will be virtual. Most students are planning to compete from the high school building during tournaments with all Class A teams logging into the online meet from their specific areas. As the host for the first tournament, that will mean Whitefish will support the running of the online forum, Mueller noted.

“All competition will be virtual, likely throughout the season, but we are still considering that decision to be based on the most current information,” she said.

She said because the competitions are virtual, it actually presents an opportunity to compete against all the Class A schools for the entire season instead of just at the state tournament.

Last year the Bulldogs finished second to Columbia Falls at the state tournament. Whitefish had a number of individual champions, but Columbia Falls racked up more overall points in the end.

The Whitefish speech and debate team is looking for judges for each virtual tournament and anyone interested may reach out to Sara Mueller at muellers@whitefishschools.org.