Pratt High School: Forensics team grabs CKL championship title

Rose Beilman
Pratt Tribune
Members of the Pratt High School forensics team experienced several successes on their way to the 2021 CKL League Championship title on Monday, April 5. They competed in a virtual live format with 18 Greenback entries making it into finals.

Pratt High School Forensics spent Monday, April 5th in difficult competition in their virtual, live tournament for the Central Kansas League, and when the day was done, PHS proved they could handle the virtual competition well, earning the distinction of league champions.

With all of Pratt's 18 entries and all of their students making it past three rounds of prelims and into finals, the team earned 372 points to Lyons' 317 points and second place, and  to Halstead's 306 points and third place. 

The year has been a tough one, with students learning different online programs on almost a weekly basis in order to compete in this virtual world. With very few in-person competitions, the students have handled the demands of the technology well and with patience. Their results in this tournament display the students' grit in approaching such a different season.

Several successes marked the day. First, the team dominated Informative Speaking and Improvised Duet Acting, as they earned the top three spots in the former finals and the top four in the latter. 

In addition, Pratt High brought a few unexpected surprises to their competition. The week before Easter, Head Coach Rose Beilman had asked Colby Barradas (last year's nationals' competitor) and Alyssa Green if they would compete in Program Oral Interpretation (POI.) While this event is a nationals event, and it is one that some divisions in the state compete in, Pratt as a 4A school doesn't have this event at the state level. 

Beilman knew the team couldn't win without students in POI, so she asked the two actors if they would take on this competition for league, and the two both heartily dove into preparing and rehearsing for the event.  

The individual results included the following:

#1 Seniors Colby Barradas and Walker Green in Improvised Duet Act

#1 Senior Hogan Thompson and sophomore Alyssa Green in Duet

#1 Sophomore Michael Dishman in Informative Speaking

#2 Senior Colby Barradas in Program Oral Interp

#2 Senior Kylee Hopkins and Junior Maddie Drake in Improvised Duet Act

#2 Junior Maddie Drake in Informative Speaking

#3 Senior Walker Green in Impromptu Speaking

#3 Senior Kylee Hopkins in Informative Speaking

#3 Senior Ruby Howell in Oration

#3 Juniors Dawson Malone and Darrian Cox in Improvised Duet Act

#3 Sophomore Colby Gordon in Humorous Solo

#3 Sophomore Alyssa Green in Program Oral Interp

#4 Senior Nick Vail in Extemporaneous Speaking

#4 Sophomores Colby Gordon and Michael Dishman in Improvised Duet Act

#4 Freshman Kaatje Herndon in Oration

#5 Senior Ruby Howell in Extemporaneous Speaking

#5 Junior Darrian Cox in Serious Solo

#5 Junior Dawson Malone in Humorous Solo

Judges included LMS teacher Angela McGraw, PHS alum Abigail Green, assistant coaches Michelle Popovich and Kadie Clark. Head coach Rose Beilman ran the Impromptu Draw Room online. 

Looking ahead, the team will still compete virtually at Augusta, at the NSDA nationals qualifier for West Kansas, at regionals, and then at state on May 1.