The past week brought successes to Pratt High Forensics, including an educational visit from an alumnus and a strong showing at the Chaparral tournament on March 26th.


The past week brought successes to Pratt High Forensics, including an educational visit from an alumnus and a strong showing at the Chaparral tournament on March 26th.

Joe Schmisseur visited Rose Beilman’s forensics classroom, giving speech students pointers on competition. Schmisseur graduated from Pratt High in 2007, going on to Pratt Community College where he was a student of Beilman’s and to KU, and his next plans are to attend KU’s law school on a full scholarship beginning in the fall.

Schmisseur, on spring break, volunteered to help coach during forensics class, and so Beilman put him to work with speakers Sidney Harrison, Mindi Popovich, and Cambry Schrag, all of whom have gone on to finals in tournaments this year.

Schmisseur had gone to state champs for three years during his time at Pratt High, in addition to four years competing in both forensics and debate. Also, as a senior he won first at state champs in informative speaking. With his expertise, on Friday he coached the three high school students, and for freshman Harrison, who went to Saturday’s meet, the work paid off as she received a fourth place finish in informative speaking finals.

The Chaparral tournament brought 10 events to finals and a strong second-place finish for the team. After having to drop several events due to illness, the team still rallied with other students filling in where they could. The team came in second only to powerhouse Sterling whose team has won at state several times in the last few years.

Qualifying for state champs were sophomore Sam Eastes with his first place finish in poetry and juniors Adi Millen and Cassidy Hullman with their second place finish in duet acting.

Also, eight additional events made it into finals. Both sophomore Anna Stotts in extemporaneous speaking and senior Katie Hart in original oration had third place finishes. Bringing in fourth place were senior Britney Woody in poetry, Harrison in informative speaking, junior Grayson Hostetler in humorous solo, freshman Quiana Pico in serious solo, and pair Hostetler and senior Savan Patel in improvised duet acting (IDA).

In her first try at serious solo, freshman Aubrey Will made it into finals with a sixth place finish.

Also participating at Chaparral  were Dustin McGraw, Cheyene Wiese, Julie Veith, Lindsay Naumann and Brendan Pribil.