St. Mary’s H.S. Speech & Debate team headed for nationals

MEDFORD, Ore. —A local high school is being recognized for its speech and debate efforts.  At the OSAA Speech State Championships this past weekend, Medford’s St. Mary’s and Coos Bay’s Marshfield High School, tied for first place in sweeps in their division.

Molly Bruins has been teaching speech and debate at St. Marys for the last 6 years. Bruins says for the last few years it used to be just a small handful of kids involved in the program.

“For a long time it was a very very tiny crew of just a couple of kids, we have been working very hard just to grow it into a bigger program, and have made some real strides this year,” said Bruins.

This year Bruins gathered a core crew of 12 committed students, across all high school grade levels. She put them right to work, preparing the group 4 days a week after school, discussing a long list of different topics.

“The great thing about speech and debate is that there are all kinds of activities for students, ranging from ones that are like drama interpretation events, to ones you might imagine when you think about debate,” said Bruins.

Co-Captain of the team Meghan Mayerle says it was great to surround herself with such a motivated group of students.

“I am definitely super grateful for the team, speech and debate in general, I think that I learn so much every time I participate in it, learning how to speak, how to communicate and form ideas I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Mayerle.

Sophomore Dylan Dateman says it’s great to see all his hard work pay off.

“I am pretty sure I just threw my hands up in the air because I was so happy about it,” said Dateman.

One thing remains true for both students, they’re thankful for the coach who helped get them here.

“I am just so baffled by how much she does for us,” said Mayerle.

Bruins says the last time the school won the award was in 2002. The team will begin training for nationals next week.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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