Three Pirates place in top 10 at state speech and debate competition


Photo courtesy Kristin Morehouse
Pagosa Springs High School speech and debate team members gather for a photo with coach Kristin Morehouse following the recent state competition in Greeley. In the top row, left to right, are: Jesse Beck, Rachael Berndt, Peyton Bedtke, Kyle Marotta, Caroline Smith. In the bottom row, left to right, are: Grace Grimes, Ruth Ann Morehouse, David Morehouse, Marie Smith and Ryan Anderson.

By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer

Three members of the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) speech and debate team returned home from last weekend’s state competition having placed in the top 10 in their events, with two landing in the top five.

“The students did fantastic at our state championships for speech and debate this past weekend in Greeley,” coach Kristin Morehouse wrote in an email to The SUN. “Out of the 10 who were able to attend the tournament, three placed in the top 10 with two being in the top five in the state of Colorado!” 

Morehouse explained that two seniors placed in the top five in their events, with Caroline Smith finishing fourth in Humorous Interpretation and David Morehouse taking fifth in Debate. 

Ruth Ann Morehouse, a sophomore, placed ninth in Debate.

“Topics for debate included both the pros and cons of: sports betting, diplomatic boycotts of the Olympics as an effective foreign policy tool, whether landfills should be for profit, whether teachers ought to have the right to sue students, and whether animal organ transplants into humans is justifiable,” the coach wrote. 

Kyle Marotta and Peyton Bedtke also represented PSHS in Debate.

Pirates competing in Creative Storytelling included Rachael Berndt, Marie Smith, Ryan Anderson and Jesse Beck.

Kristin Morehouse wrote that Grace Grimes “performed a strong informative piece on the implications of aging out of the foster care system.”

“We are grateful to our town of Pagosa Springs for all of the support since our season’s beginning in October which included lots of parent support and our judges Michael Berndt and Scott Miller,” the coach wrote, adding, “The team has come a long way in the last five years. We are grateful to have speech and debate supported by Pagosa Springs High School, Archuleta School District, and all the people of Pagosa Springs!”