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Glover Bound For Speech And Debate Nationals After Cookeville Competition

Jeffery Glover
Jeffery Glover

On March 2, 2024 speech and debate national qualifiers were held at Cookeville High School in Cookeville, Tennessee. West High student, Jeffery Glover, placed second in this competition, giving in the opportunity to compete at the national level in June. 

However, this victory did not come without its tribulations. Speech and debate coach Sarah Bowen commented on the difficulty of getting to competition, “Jeffrey is naturally gifted. My challenge was in making sure he would have the opportunity to compete at Quals (qualifiers). This is my first year as coach of this team, and I would never want my inadequacies to hinder a student from having every chance possible.” Despite these challenges, Bowen was able to make arrangements for Glover to attend qualifiers in Cookeville.

Glover describes his piece as, “(telling) a story of an African American father who is a lawyer. His son was just found guilty for murder and it revolves around how the father defends him in court.” Glover also delved into his acting process, “Every time I perform, I always try to put my mind in the characters but also the audience because I never want to bore people. They want to be engaged and I always attempt to give the best performance every time.” Glover’s approach to his pieces has gained the recognition of his coach and the judges as Glover was ranked above 27 of the 29 participants in the dramatic interpretation category.

Glover researched exhaustively to create his piece. Then receiving help from Bowen with development of the piece, Bowen elaborates, “Jeffrey found his cutting all on his own. I have stepped in with polishing the cutting and getting in Nationals ready. (Cutting is the practice of reducing a book or film into a 10 minute piece) Again, Jeffrey is a dream competitor. He works in and out of the classroom.” Glover’s determination led him to his victory over several other competitors, Bowen explains, “In order to qualify for Nationals, a person must have a polished piece, have enough National Speech and Debate points, and must be ready to compete in as many rounds as it takes to narrow the field to six - seven people. Then, he or she will compete in the final round. The top three competitors advance to Nationals.” Because of this difficult process and preparation, West High School senior Jeffery Glover will be attending the national speech and debate competition in Iowa later this year in June. 

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