Updated: Nov 9, 2021
The Morristown West Speech and Debate team competed in their first tournament on Sept. 11. This competition was hosted by the University of Kentucky. The team had nine people entered in events, and five out of nine competitors placed in final rounds.
Rylee Linkous placed 4th in Dramatic Interpretation (D.I.), 2nd in Poetry, and 1st in Prose. Her favorite thing about Speech and Debate is the connections you make over time. She believes this team is more of a family than a team because they all truly care for each other and want the best for each other. Besides Speech and Debate, she mainly focuses on her studies/other classes as well as helping her family, especially with caring for her younger brother, Xander Linkous, who suffers from many medical issues, as he honestly is her biggest source of inspiration.
Emma Whittaker placed 4th in Duo Interpretation with her partner, Faith Hodge. She loves getting to meet new people from different places, whether it's someone from Johnson City or California! She also loves getting to go and explore all of the college campuses when they are able to travel. Besides Speech and Debate, Whittaker focuses on her other coursework. She Is looking into starting to volunteer at Ridin’ High again. When asked what advice she has for students wanting to join Speech and Debate, she says “ Just go for it. There is a stigma that only "smart" people can do good in Speech and Debate, but that is the opposite of true. There are people here who excel at tournaments and struggle in any other classroom. Everybody here is always willing to help you with anything you need help with, and it is such a loving and welcoming environment that I'm happy to be a part of