John Hersey High School debaters continued their winning streak into the post season on Jan. 25-26, at Highland Park High School, as they qualified two speakers for the Tournament of Champions in Lexington, Ky. Moreover, they added the first-place award to their trophy shelf.
At Highland Park, the top 60 debaters were selected from the over 500 who compete in the Northern Illinois district. Hersey entered seven students into the semifinals. Four Hersey students made the finals: Melanie Cohodes, Mike Miller, Logan Maurer, and Vivek Shah. Cohodes and Shah won top honors by capturing two of the six bids available at this contest.
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Hersey showed its depth at the Invitational level Hersey as 11 of its 17 participants earned nominations. Juniors Mike Franiewicz and Dan Niersbach won their second speaker trophies of the season. Juniors Jacob Komenda and Katherine Surma earned their first individual trophies.
Head Coach Jack Stanislaw noted, "The debaters are learning not only to speak well, but they are also learning to win. They are really beginning to believe in themselves."
Saturday marked Hersey's best performance ever at the TOC Qualifier.
Hersey goes into action next at the Illinois Congressional Debate Association State Competition held at Harper College Saturday, Feb. 23. ICDA State pits the top four students from each school for the team state title.
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