Speech & Debate

Sponsor:  Ed Taylor
Contact Number:  314-467-7216
Email Contactetaylor@msdr9.org
Assistant Sponsor:  Kaite Heurung
Contact Number:  314-467-7112
Email Contact: heurungk@msdr9.org
2020 – 2021 Schedule TBD

Speech & Debate Season comes to an End

The Speech and Debate Team’s season  ended Saturday night after competing Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and all day Saturday in the Eastern Missouri District of the National Speech and Debate Association.
  • Mitch Aschenbrenner and Carlie Dobbins made it to semifinals in Duo Interpretation after four preliminary rounds.
  • Libby Oelzen and Mason Bader — this was their first year competing — made it to finals in Duo, and took 6th place.
  • Carlie made it to semifinals in Humorous Interpretation.
  • Hannah Franke, our only senior on the team, went to finals in Program of Oral Interpretation and took 6th place.
  • Other competitors included
    • Thomas Kallaos and Ethan Chapman in policy debate.  Each also competed in US Extemporaneous Speaking.
    • Jason  Buss in Informative Speaking.
    • Mitch Aschenbrenner and Andrew Blanchette each competed in Dramatic Interpretation.
    • Mason Bader in Humorous Interpretation.
This was a great showing for such a young team: 3 are novices and six are first-year varsity.  We look forward to broadening and strengthening for next year.
Each of the 27 teams competing had to provide judges for each of the 15 scheduled rounds (alternating debate and speech).  Our judges included parents Monica Aschenbrenner, Kelly Blanchette, Susan and Jim Kreyling, and Sally Oelzen, as well as  teacher Sarah Petroff and alum Krystal Weigel, and coaches Katie Heurung and Ed Taylor.  We also had help from several contacts through Taylor.
Kudos to the team and thanks to the judges!


Capital City Classic

Our speech and debate team competed in the Jefferson City Capital Classic last week.  There were 45 schools; competition was online.
Andrew Blanchette made it to semifinals in poetry interpretation.
Novice Libby Oelzen placed 5th — in varsity — in prose interpretation.
Carlie Dobbins took 6th in humorous interpretation.
Hannah Franke made it to finals in both of her events, taking 4th in storytelling and 4th in program interpretation (prose, poetry, and drama blended together).
Our next tournament is Marquette HS, then Fulton HS.
December 14, 2020

Speech & Debate Heads to Winter Break to Prepare

Seven students competed at the Liberty HS (virtual) speech and debate tournament.  Again, there were schools from all over MO.
Hannah Franke took 5th in Program Oral Interpretation (poetry and/or prose and/or drama combined).
Elizabeth Oelzen took 4th in Novice Interpretation.
Ethan Chapman and Thomas Kallaos took 3rd in JV Policy Debate.
We’re off until January, but we need to prep for two new debate topics
December 7, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS to the Speech & Debate team!

The OHS team compete at the virtual Mexico tournament last week.  Even though the schedule is virtual, the Tigers are working hard!  25 schools competed in the Mexico MO Invitational.  Of OHS’ 11 entries, 6 advance to finals;
  • In Dramatic Interpretation, Mich Aschenbrenner took 7th
  • Hannah Frnake took 6th in Storytelling and 5th n Poetry Interpretation
  • In Duo Interpretation Thomas Kallaos and Courtney Kreylig took 6h & novices Libby Oelzen and Mason Bader took 3rd!
Nice showing!

November 23, 2020

Our first full tournament, all virtual, was this weekend: Ladue Novice and Clayton Varsity.
36 schools from across the state competed at the Ladue Novice Invitational.  OHS had three entries: Jason Buss in Informative Speaking, Mason Bader in Interpretation, and Libby Oelzen in Prose.
Mason took 7th, just missing finals.
Libby placed 2nd!
30 schools from across Missouri competed at the Clayton Invitational.
We had five students in two styles of debate and six speech events.
Hannah Franke (12) placed 6th in Storytelling.
Courtney Kreyling and Thomas Kallaos, both sophomores, took 5th in Duo Interpretation.
Andrew Blanchette (11) made 3rd in Poetry Interpretation.
The Pattonville tournament was cancelled, so our next tournament is Mexico, MO, the first weekend in December.

February 2020

33 schools competed at the Marquette speech and debate invitational over the weekend.  There were no novice divisions.
Triona Leach made it to semifinals in Program Oral Interpretation – a mix of prose and poetry.  Out of 51 entries in poetry, Andrew Blanchette, a novice, was the only one with two firsts going into semifinals; he just missed finals, ending at 7th.  Tommy Jackson made it to quarterfinals in Lincoln Douglas debate, out of 80 entries.  He went all the way in Original Oratory, finishing 2nd.  The title of his speech?  “Second is Best.”  That ends the regular season.  MSHSAA Districts are March 6-7.

February 2020

The speech and debate team competed at Rock Bridge Invitational in Columbia over the weekend against 20 other schools.
Hannah Franke and Tommy Jackson placed 6th in Duet Acting.  Hannah also captured 3rd in Poetry Interpretation and Tommy made it to quarterfinals in Lincoln Douglas Debate.  It was an open tournament, meaning there was no novice division.  That said, novices Ethan Chapman barely missed finals, placing 8th out of 36 in Radio Speaking, and Thomas Kallaos made it to 8th out of 28 in Original Oratory.  Next weekend we compete in our last open tournament at Marquette High School, where they are expecting 33 schools.

January 2020

12 schools with a total of 143 entries competed at the Oakville Novice Speech Invitational on Friday January 10, 2020.  Each of our novices placed in their events.
Thomas Kallaos took 5th in Extemporaneous Speaking, out of 29 entries — and that was Thomas’ first time competing in the event!
In Duo Interpretation, Mitch Aschenbrenner and Carlie Dobbins took 4th.
In Prose Interpretation, Courtney Kreyling took 4th and Ethan Chapman took 5th.
Finally, Hailey Yeager took 6th and Andrew Blanchette took 2nd in Poetry Interpretation.
 November 23, 2019
This past weekend the speech and debate team competed at the Clayton-Ladue Invitational.  Clayton hosts varsity and Ladue hosts novice.  28 schools competed at Ladue.  In Impromptu Duet Acting, Courtney Kreyling and Hailey Yeager missed making finals by one point; Ethan Chapman and Thomas Kallaos placed 4th in finals.
In Radio Broadcast, Ethan came in 2nd.  At Clayton 35 schools competed.  In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Tommy Jackson placed 9th, barely missing quarter-finals.  He and Hannah Franke made it to semifinals in Duo Interpretation.  Hannah and Triona Leach each made it so semifinals in Program Interpretation, a new event for both of them.   The last tournament for this semester is Pattonville, December 13 and 14.  We host a novice speech invitational on Friday, January 10th.
November 2019
Oakville’s Speech and Debate Team competed at the second Greater St. Louis Regional tournament held at Liberty High School on Friday.  Junior Hannah Franke took 4th in poetry interpretation.  In duo interpretation, sophomores Mitch Aschenbremmer and Carlie Dobbins placed 5th, and Hannah Franke and Tommy Jackson took 1st, as tournament champions.
March 2019
MSHSAA Districts
Oakville competed in the Speech and Debate district event this weekend with Hannah Franke placing 6th in poetry interpretation and Connor Jones took 1st in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking and 8th in Lincoln Douglass Debate. With this finish, Connor will advance to the state event at Missouri State University on April 13, 2019.
November 19, 2018

Oakville’s speech and debate team competed against 25 other teams at the Clayton/ Ladue Invitational over the weekend

Varsity Connor Jones took 1st in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. He and Maxine Taylor made it to quarter finals in Champion Varsity Public Forum Debate.

Tommy Jackson broke to quarter finals in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate. He and Hannah Frankie took 6th in Duo Interpretation.

In the novice division, Michael Kriegshauser went 3-1 and barely missed quarter finals. Teresa Vergano went all the way and took first place in Novice Lincoln Douglas debate.  She also took 5th in Novice Prose.

October 1, 2018
Seven members of the Oakville Speech and Debate Team competed at the annual Autumn Congressional Debate, hosted by Oakville and held this year at Buerkle Middle School.  There were 100 students from 10 schools debating in six chambers over four hours.
Five of our seven were novices.  One, Kyle Przygoda, earned a perfect six on one of his speeches.
January 22, 2018
15 schools competed in the first ever Oakville-Mehlville Novice Invitational over the weekend.  Schools from as far as Jackson, Columbia and Mexico, MO.
Speech was on Friday, and sophomores Brittany Kohne and Nora Ovchiyan took 1st in Duo Interpretation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
Oakville Sophomore Tommy Jackson took 6th in Radio Broadcast.
And our varsity did a good job running the tournament:
  • Olivia Rauls
  • Preethi Tumati
  • Connor Jones
  • Maxine Taylor
  • Ryan Westwood
  • Sam Gandhi
March 13, 2017
After 40 hours and as many as 16 rounds of competition, Oakville is sending five students to the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world.  It will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, June 18-25.
29 schools competed in 9 events in the 4th largest NSDA district competition in the United States.  Going to Nationals:
  • Shaun Lamar, in Lincoln Douglas debate
  • Sohrab Azad and Ryan Westwood, in Public Forum debate
  • Aaron Mohabbat, in International Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Gabriel Conners, in Oral Interpretation
Only once before has Oakville qualified this many students to nationals: in 2009.
image1 (1) (1)
January 30, 2017
35 schools from across Missouri competed at the 24th annual Jefferson City Capitol Classic speech and debate tournament over the weekend.  Oakville only brought 9 students but managed to place 11th overall!
  • Brooke Mumma took 1st in Regular Lincoln Douglas debate after 7 rounds, beating a student from Rockhurst HS.
  • Ryan Westwood and Sohrab Azad took 1st in Champion Public Forum debate, also after 7 rounds, defeating a team from Parkway South HS.
  • Ryan  took 3rd in congress, out of over 100 students.
  • Aaron Mohabbat took 3rd in International Extemporaneous Speaking.
January 23, 2017
Over 30 schools compete in the Greater St. Louis Conference, six days of speech and debate competition beginning in October.  It concluded this past weekend at Ritenour High School.  Oakville took 3rd place overall.  We were first in congressional debate, 2nd in public speaking, and 2nd in debate.
Individual awards from the weekend:
Connor Jones took 3rd in Lincoln Douglas debate
Aaron Mohabbat and Ryan Westwood took 3rd in Public Forum debate.
Shaun Lamar took 2nd in US Extemporaneous Speaking and 1st in Oratory.
Aaron took 4th in International Extemp.
Ryan Westwood placed 1st in congress; Sohrab Azad was 2nd.
Overall conference standings:
Shaun, 2nd in LD debate, 1st in US Extemp, 2nd in Oratory.
Aaron and Ryan, 3rd in Public Forum debate
Sohrab, 1st in congress.
This weekend we travel to Jefferson City to compete against schools from across the state.
December 12, 2016
The speech and debate team competed against 23 other teams at the Pattonville Invitational over the weekend.  We had several first place awards:
  • Connor Jones in Novice Extemp
  • Shaun Lamar in Domestic Extemp
  • Sohrab Azad in Congress
  • Aaron Mohabbat and Shaun Lamar in Public Forum Debate
  • Shayla Hrncic and David O’Donnell took 2nd in Novice Public Forum
  • Gabi Conners took 4th Program Oral Interp
  • Connor Jones took 4th in Novice LD
  • Aaron Mohabbat took 6th in International Extemp.
AND we took 5th place overall.  Go Tigers!
November 14, 2016
Oakville’s Speech & Debate Team competed in the Second Greater St. Louis Conference tournament over the weekend against 18 other schools.  We only had seven members competing, but five took awards..
  • Olivia Rauls took 1st in Congressional Debate.  Sohrab Azad took 3rd.
  • Sohrab and Brooke Mumma made it to semifinals in public forum debate.
  • Shaun Lamar took 1st in Domestic Extemp and 3rd in Original Oratory.
  • Aaron Mohabbat took 4th in Radio Broadcast.
Our next tournament is this weekend at Ladue and Clayton High Schools.
 GSL 1 2016 (1)

October 24, 1016

Oakville’s Speech and Debate Team competed at the first Greater St. Louis Conference Tournament over the weekend.
Of the 15 students who made it to finals in congressional debate, five were ours.  Sohrab Azad took 1st place AND was Permanent Presiding Officer; Preethi Tumati took 2nd.
Shaun Lamar took 1st in Lincoln Douglas Debate, going 6-0.
Olivia Rauls took 3rd.
In Public Forum Debate, Aaron Mogaabbat and Ryan Westwood were 2nd and Sohrab Azad and Gabi Conners were 3rd.
In Domestic Extemp Shaun took 2nd and Connor Jones — a novice — took 3rd.  Connor also took 6th in radio broadcast.
In Foreign Extemp Aaron took 4th.
In Oratory Shaun took 3rd.

October 18, 2016

Oakville competed against 22 other schools over the weekend at Parkway West’s speech and debate invitational.  We took 5th overall, behind Parkway Central, Ladue, Clayton, and Marquette.
Shaun Lamar took 1st in Domestic Extemp and 1st in Original Oratory.
Aaron Mohabbat took 4th in Foreign Extemp.  He and his debate partner Ryan Westwood took 2nd in Public Forum Debate, going 6-1.  Ryan also took 5th in Congressional Debate.  4 of the 15 students who made it to finals in Congress were from Oakville.
Sohrab Azad took 1st in Congressional Debate.  He and his debate partner Gabi Conners took 4th in Public Forum Debate.
In the novice divisions, in Extemp Speaking, Brooke Mumma took 2nd, Simone Hanna took 3rd, and Connor Jones took 4th.   In Radio, Sam Gandhi took 1st, Shayla Hrncic took 2nd, and Connor Jones took 4th.
Finally, in novice public forum, Shayla Hrncic and Sarah Stich took 3rd with a 5-1 record and Brooke Mumma and Simone Hanna took 2nd with a 6-1 record.
The next tournament is this weekend at Liberty High School in Lake St. Louis.

October 3, 2016

90 students from 9 schools competed here on Saturday in the Annual Autumn Congressional Debate Tournament.  Oakville’s speech and debate team took 1st,  Ladue was 2nd, Mehlville 3rd, and Clayton 4th.
There were six chambers of debate that lasted 4 and a half hours.  Individual awards for Permanent Presiding Officer to Ryan Westwood, Aaron Mohabbat, and Sohrab Azad.
For 2nd place speaker in their chambers: Maxine Taylor, Preethi Tumati, Olivia Rauls, and Simone Hannah.
3/14/16 –
Shaun Lamar placed second in Domestic Extemp and first in his house chamber in congressional debate — he can only go in one event and he had chosen congressional debate.  He also made it to the top seven in Lincoln Douglas debate — Eastern Missouri is taking 4 to nationals.  Aaron Mohabbat is also going in congressional debate — he was in the Senate chamber.
Nationals are June 11-18 in Salt Lake City.
IMG_1066 IMG_1070
2/16/16 –

Marquette HS hosted the final invitational of the regular season over the weekend.  About 30 schools competed.  In debates there were two divisions: regular varsity and champ varsity.  Everything else was varsity.  Junior Shaun Lamar took first in Champ Lincoln-Douglas Debate.  Juniors Aaron Mohabbat and Ryan Westwood took 3rd in Champ Public Forum Debate.  Of the 19 students who advanced to finals in Congressional Debate, five were from Oakville.  Shaun took 1st.  Junior Sohrab Azad took 4th.  And 9th grader Cas Berggren took 5th!  Aaron also took 3rd in radio broadcast and 6th in International Extemp Speaking.

2/1/16 –
Nine members of Oakville’s Speech and Debate Team competed at the Jefferson City HS Capitol Classics Invitational over the weekend.  There were 26 other schools from across the state.  Novices Cas Berggren and Caroline Lewis competed at the varsity level and went 3-1 in public forum debate, barely missing quarter finals.  Our other novice PF team, Gabi Conners and Sohrab Azad, made it to quarterfinals at the varsity level and lost on a split decision.  First year varsity PF debaters Ryan Westwood and Aaron Mohabbat were undefeated going into quarterfinals in the Champ Division and lost in a split decision.
Novice Shannon Seithel made it to semifinals in Humorous Interpretation, also at the varsity level.
1/11/16 –

The novices on Oakville’s speech and debate team had novice-only tournaments this weekend: Speech events Friday at Oakville and debate events Saturday at Parkway North.

7 schools competed on Friday.
In Interp, Shannon Seithel took 1st and Mel Grigg took 2nd.
In Poetry Gabi Conners took 3rd.
Shannon tied with a student from Jackson for 1st in Prose; Mel took 4th and Caroline Lewis took 6th.
24 teams from 12 schools competed Saturday in Public Forum debate.  Gabi Conners and Sohrab Azad placed 2nd and Mel Grigg and Shannon Seithel took 4th.
Team at novice tourney
12/12/15 –
30 schools competed over the weekend at the Pattonville HS Randy Pierce Winter Classic.  Oakville had 12 students in congressional debate.  Three made it to finals and Sohrab Azad took 5th.  Both of our varsity Lincoln Douglas debaters made it to quarters.  Olivia Rauls lost in quarters; Shaun Lamar got as far as semifinals.
Of our six novice Public Forum Debate teams (two per team),  three made it to quarters.  Melinda Grigg & Maxine Taylor, and Preethi Tumati & Ajla Sahbegovic were both 4-0, then lost in quarters.  Gabi Conners and Sohrab Azad remained undefeated, going 7-0 and taking first place.
Team dinner at Olive Garden

11/23/15 – 

Our speech and debate novices shone this weekend at the Clayton-Ladue varsity-novice invitational.  Over 20 schools from across Missouri competed.  Our novices placed 4th overall, behind Central-Springfield (the 6th largest speech and debate team in the country), Nixa and Jefferson City.
Individual awards went to
Paul Auer: 2nd in poetry.  Gabriel Conners took 4th.
Shannon Seithel: 2nd in Dramatic Interp and 3rd in Prose.
Melinda Grigg: 5th in Humorous Interp and 4th in Prose
Ajla Sagbegovic and Preethi Tumati took 5th in Improv Duet.
3 of the 15 students who advanced to finals in Congress were from Oakville.  Sohrab Azad took 1st and Maxine Taylor was 6th.
At the varsity level, Ryan Westwood and Aaron Mohabbat made it to quarterfinals in public forum debate.
We have one more tournament this semester: Pattonville, December 11-12.
10/12/15 –  23 schools competed at the Parkway West Invitational over the weekend.
Oakville tied for fifth place overall (sweepstakes).Individual awards:
Novice (first year competing)
In prose interpretation, four of the six students in finals were from Oakville!
Shannon Seithel: 1st
Melinda Grigg: 2nd
Hiba Al-Ramahi: 5th
Maxine Taylor: 6thHiba also took 3rd in Radio Broadcast.In novice debate, Sohrab Azad and Gabriel Conners went 5-1 and took 3rd.In the varsity division, Aaron Mohabbat took 2nd in radio broadcast
and 5th in international extemporaneous speaking; Shaun Lamar went 4-1
in Lincoln Douglas debate, taking 4th — Shaun took 5th in
Congressional Debate.

10/5/15 – 97 students from 13 schools competed in the Annual Oakville Autumn Congress Debates.  Student-written legislation was submitted two weeks before the tournament.  Students were separated into five chambers where they debated bills and resolutions for over four hours.  Mehlville HS took 5th place overall; Ladue took 1st.

Individual awards: Tony Smith from Mehlville took 1st Speaker in his chamber; Shaun Lamar from Oakville took Permanent Presiding Officer in his chamber.
 GSL PreSeason

9/21/15 –

Oakville’s Speech and Debate Team had a strong start at the season opener Saturday at Mehlville HS (the first time MHS has hosted!)  10 schools competed in three events, with novice and varsity divisions.  Shaun Lamar was undefeated in five rounds and took 1st in extemporaneous debate.  Preethi Tumati went 4-1 and took 3rd in the novice division of extemp debate.  Rachel Eschbacher and Ebony Corley took 2nd in Novice Duet Improv.
Hiba Al-Ramahi was 1st in Novice Impromptu Speaking.  Aaron Mohabbat was 5th in the varsity division.
4/27/15 –
The State Tournament for speech and debate was held at Missouri State University in Springfield this past weekend.  Oakville Senior HS took 2nd in the State in Lincoln Douglas Debate and 7th in Poetry Interpretation.  Ellie Sona (12) lost in the final round, taking 2nd place in the state, after 4 preliminary rounds, and winning quarterfinals and semifinals.  Shaun Lamar was in 3rd place going into finals but “was nervous” and finished in 7th in the state.  Not bad for a sophomore!
0 Shaun 0 Oakville finalists 0 Ellie
3/9/15 – 
The National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) tournament began Thursday evening, then went all day Friday, Saturday, andSunday.  There were four styles of debate and six styles of speech.  Over 400 students from over 34 schools competed for 40 slots to the NSDA National Tournament June 14-20 in Dallas, Texas..  The NSDA holds the largest academic competition in the world.
Of the 100 students competing in congressional debate, with five advancing to Nationals , two are from Oakville: Ellie Sona fromone of three House chambers, and Emma Sona, from the Senate.  Shaun Lamar took 2nd in his  House (and is first alternate to Nationals).  Based on overall performance, Oakville captured the Congressional Debate Sweepstakes.
NSDA Congress
Photo, from left: Tad Bast, Ryan Westwood, Ellie Sona, Coach Ed Taylor, Olivia Rauls, Emma Sona, Shaun Lamar, and Aaron Mohabbat.
3/1/15 – 
Oakville had eight students comptete against 27 other schools at the St. Louis Missouri State High School Activites Association District Tournament.  Depending on the event, the top three or four advance to the State Competition in April.  Shaun Lamar and Emma Sona made it to quarterfinals in public forum debate, but lost on a 2-1 ballot and did not advance.  Shaun Lamar placed 2nd in Poetry Interpretation and is going to State.  Ellie Sona took 1st in the district in Lincoln-Douglas debate and is going to State.
Wish us luck!  AND wish us luck this weekend, when we compete in the National Speech and Debate Association (NFL) District competition: winners will advance to the National Tournament in June, this year in Dallas, Texas.
2/17/15 – 
Oakville’s speech and debate team competed at their last regular invitational over the weekend.  28 schools were at the Marquette Invitational.  Of the 60 students competing in congressional debate, Ellie Sona took 3rd and Emma Sona took 2nd.  Of the 63 students competing in prose and poetry interpretation, Dariya Kucheryaba captured 6th place — and that was her first tournament ever!  (Pictured: Dariya with her mother and father after the awards ceremony.)  District competition begins this Saturday at Webster University and continues for three weekends.  Wish us luck!
2/2/15 – 
Eight members of the Oakville Speech & Debate Team competed at the Jefferson City Capital Classic over the past weekend.  In varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate, novice Olivia Rauls went 3-1 and came in 11th out of 40.  In Congressional Debate, Emma Sona took 2nd and Ellie Sona took 1st.  And in Championship Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Ellie took 1st, going 7-0.  So proud of their accomplishments!
GSL 3 trophies

1/20/15 –

Oakville competed in the Greater St. Louis Conference speech and debate tournament at Ritenour HS over the weekend.
Emma Sona led the group with 1st place AND permanent presiding officer in congressional debate; Ellie Sona took 2nd.
Emma and her partner Shaun Lamar took 1st in public forum debate.
Shaun took 2nd in poetry interpretation.
Aaron Mohabbat took 2nd in radio broadcast.
Oakville took 2nd overall in congress for the entire conference, which was spread over three months.
1/14/15 –
Oakville hosted the FIRST EVER Novice Speech Invitational on Friday, coinciding with Parkway North’s Novice Debate Invitational on Saturday.

In speech, Catherine Klocke took 1st in Prose Interpretation.  In poetry, Ryan Westwood took 1st.
In radio broadcast, Aaron Mohabbat placed 1st, Ryan placed 3rd, and Olivia Rauls took 5th.
Tad Bast had 5th in humorous interpretation.
In public forum debate, Ryan and Aaron went 5-1 and took 3rd place.  Brianna Berggren in Lincoln Douglas debate went 3-3.
12/15/14 – 
The speech & debate team competed this weekend at the Pattonville Invitational.  There were 33 schools.  Ellie Sona took 1st in Lincoln Douglas debate.  In Congressional Debate, against 87 other students, Emma Sona took 2nd, Ellie took 5th, and Shaun Lamar took 8th.
In the Eastern Missouri District Ellie and Emma are ranked 1st and 2nd overall.

10/20/14 – 

The speech & debate team competed against 22 other schools at the Parkway West Invitational over the weekend. 
In novice public forum debate, Aaron Mohabbat and Ryan Westwood took 2nd.  Aaron also took 2nd in novice radio broadcast.  And in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, Brianna Berggren broke to quarterfinals.
In varsity, Emma Sona took 2nd in congressional debate, and Emma and her sister Ellie broke to quarters in public forum debate.

10/6/14 – Another Oakville Debate Victory! 

Nine members of Oakville’s Speech & Debate Team competed at the Autumn Congress Tournament Saturday, October 4th.   93 students from 11 schools competed in Congressional Debate in six “Houses” over three ninety-minute sessions.  Clayton High School ranked 3rd, with 37 points, while Ladue and Oakville tied for 1stwith 38 points.  Major Oakville victories were Shaun Lamar (10), 2nd speaker in his house, and both Ellie Sona (12) and Emma Sona (12), each of whom took Permanent Presiding Officer in their houses.  Other members of the team contributing to the victory were Tad Bast (9), Brianna Berggren (10), Jacob Kujath (9), Olivia Rauls (9), Jennafer Voss (9), and Ryan Westwood (9).Autumn Congress

Another first for Oakville’s Speech & Debate Team! GSL pre-season award pic
Last year, for the first time, we took 1st place in the Greater St. Louis Speech Association Conference — then lost most of our team to graduation.  With only three returning varsity members, it looked bleak.
Saturday we took nine students to the GSL Pre-Season Tournament — six are novices — and all nine students placed!  Eight schools competed in varsity and novice divisions.  Students picked one of three events and had five rounds, from 8 AM to 5 PM, before finding out how they fared.
In Varsity Duet Improvisation, Shaun Lamar (10) and Ellie Sona (12) took 2nd place.  Our other returning varsity member, Emma Sona (12), took 2nd in varsity Extemp Debate.
In the Novice Division, Ryan Westwood (9) and Aaron Mohabbat (10) took 2nd in Duet Improvisation, and Brianna Berggren (10) and Jacob Kujath (9) took 3rd.  In Extemp Debate, Olivia Rauls (9) tied for 3rd with a student from Principia, and Ted Bast (9) took 6th.
A great way to start the speech and debate year!  Our next tournament is the Autumn Congressional Debate, October 4, hosted by OHS but this year held at Buerkle Middle School.
Sydney Montague and Michael Menkhus competed this past weekend at Mizzou in the State Championships for Speech and Debate.  Sydney had advanced in Prose Interpretation and took 24th!  While Michael had double qualified; Radio Broadcast where he placed 9th where he barely missed the finals & US Extemporaneous Speaking where he took 1st Place!  He is the 1st is School History to be a Speech & Debate State Champion!
In US Extemp, students draw three topics (on US issues, versus Internation Extemp which are global issues), choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute speech, with sources, without notes.  They use their time to go through their files, organize and practice the speech before delivering it to the judges.
MSHSAA, who runs the State Championship, offers three styles of debate and nine speech events, as well as one-act and readers theater.
State 2a  State 3
The speech & debate team spent the last three weekends competing in districts (NFL Congress, MSHSAA speech & debate, NFL speech and debate).
Going to state: Sydney Montague in Prose Interpretation and Michael Menkhus in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking AND Radio Broadcast.
Going to nationals: Emma Sona in congress (1st place in her house); Ellie Sona in Lincoln-Douglas debate (2nd place); Michael Menkhus in DX (2nd place).
On the cusp for nats (if a qualfier cannot attend): 4th place (1st alternate): Sydney Montague and Katie Kohler in duo interpretation; Vincent Marinaro (1st alternate) in congress; 2nd alternate in Public Forum Debate: Olivia Weigl and Emma Sona.
We also took 3rd place in congress sweeps at NFL.


For the first time – ever – Oakville High School has won the Greater St. Louis Speech Association tournament.


This three-month competition begins in October and entails seven rounds in three styles of debate, three styles of public speaking, and six styles of interpretation events.  Although there are individual awards and sweepstakes for each of the three categories, it is the combined efforts of the entire team that contribute to the overall sweepstakes, and to Oakville wresting the “travelling trophy” from Ladue Horton Watkins HS.  Ladue has kept it all but one of the last 13 years, maybe longer.  We’ll find out when we get the trophy — they forgot to bring it to the tournament but will have it engraved with Oakville’s name for the 2013-14 GSL season.

Oakville also took first in Congressional Debate, narrowly beating Parkway South.

18 schools from St. Louis and St. Charles Counties competed.

In debate, Ellie Sona took 1st in Lincoln-Douglas debate, the only undefeated student.  Adam Diehl and Sean Kleffner took 3rd in Policy debate.  Sydney Montague and Katie Kohler were 1st in duo interpretation, and Sean Kleffner was 2nd in humourous interpretation.  Oakville swept the top three in radio broadcast: Michale Menkhus, Katie Kohler, and Ellie Sona. In congress, Emma Sona was permanent presiding officer, Olivia Weigl was 1stspeaker, Vince Marinaro was 2nd speaker, and Shaun Lamar and Tyler Bradenberg were selected “Most Improved.”  In oratory, Jenny Keeton was 4th and Olivia Weigl 5th.

The team is coached by Erica Brown, SSD teacher at Buerkle MS and a former member of the OHS team (’96), and Edward Taylor, English teacher at Oakville



Oakville’s Debate Team competed Saturday (11/2/13) at the Brentwood Debate portion of the Oakville-Brentwood Invitational.  Despite having a small entry — seven teams — OHS took 5th out of 12 schools.  Andrew Ludwig and Emma Sona went 5-0 and took 2nd in public forum debate.  Shawn Kleffner and Adam Diehl took 4th in policy debate.  Ellie Sona took 6th in Lincoln Douglas debate.


Another great tournament for the speech and debate team!

17 schools competed at the Parkway West Invitational Friday and Saturday.
Michael Menkhus took 1st in domestic extemporaneous speaking and in radio broadcast.
Jenny Keeton took 1st in original oratory.
Ellie Sona took 1st in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Aron Johannsson and Olivia Weigl took 2nd in Public Forum debate.
Ellie Sona, Emma Sona, Olivia Weigl and Vince Marinaro broke to finals in congressional debate (Oakville had one-quarter of the students in the finals chamber) and Vince Marinaro took second in congress — he also took third in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Oakville High School captures first place in Congress Tournament


Competing against ten other schools, Oakville Senior High School’s Debate Team narrowly bested Parkway West to take first place in the 18th Annual Autumn Congressional Debate Tournament.  Clayton HS took third, followed by Parkway South, Brentwood, Jefferson City, Pattonville, Marquette, Ladue, Francis Howell North, and Mehlville.

While legislators in Washington, DC were deadlocked, 84 students from 11 schools debated 19 bills and resolutions students had submitted two weeks prior to the  Saturday  tournament.  Topics included the Electoral College, health care, fracking, patent trolling, prison rehabilitation, compulsory sex education in schools, Palestinian statehood and the Cuban embargo.  Students were divided into six chambers and had three 90-minute sessions to debate legislation.  Each chamber then selected a “permanent presiding officer” (the student they believed did the best in running one of the three sessions).  The top two speakers in each chamber were awarded based on points for speeches.

From Oakville, Sydney Montague, Emma Sona, and Olivia Weigl took first speaker in their chambers, and Vince Marinaro was elected PPO in his chamber.

Autumn Congress 2013     OHS Congress