GBHS Forensics Team Takes 2nd at Kinsley


Picture Back Row:  Bryce Hopkins, Isaiah Smith, Malachi Wasson, Hayden Honomichl, Patrick Heath, Maddix Pokoroski, CJ Gibson, Brooke Lewis. Front Row:  Kenia Balderama, Bayle Sandy, Katria Kindscher, Adeline Dougherty, Breanne Allen and Xanna Smith.

The Great Bend High School Panther Forensics team captured 2 nd in sweepstakes behind Buhler High School and brought home 14 individual medals this past weekend. The squad traveled to Kinsley for their first tournament of the 2020 season. The tournament featured forensics teams from 12 schools.

The Panthers qualified five students for State Championships this May. “This is a great start on our goal of taking a complete entry of 16 events to the State Championships,” said forensics coach, Kim Heath.

Since this was the first tournament of the year, Mrs. Heath shared some background on each of the different events that the students may choose to prepare for competition.

In prose interpretation, the student prepares and delivers one selection of prose from a short story or novel. The student delivers an introduction and reads the story from a notebook. Senior, Hayden Honomichl, captured 1st place in prose at the tournament qualifying him for the state championship in early May. Mrs. Heath was extremely excited for Honomichl and said, “It is amazing for any student to earn a first place in prose, but to do it on his first tournament with the team is a testament to Hayden’s overall performance skills.” Another senior, Bayle Sandy, placed 8th in prose.

In duo interpretation, two students present a cutting from a play involving the portrayal of two or more characters. The Panthers also qualified for state in this event when the Sophomore team of Malachi Wasson and Isaiah Smith placed 1st. Breanne Allen and Xanna Smith also competed in duo interpretation.

In original oration, the student researches and presents an original speech to convince, or to move the audience to action about a significant issue. It often shows a harm, identifies a cause, and then pushes for a solution. Senior, Patrick Heath, brought home a 2nd place medal and qualified for the state championship. Freshman Maddix Pokoroski finished sixth in oration.

In impromptu speaking, the student will draw a topic and then have five minutes to plan and prepare a speech that is up to seven minutes long. Sandy won top honors and qualified for state in impromptu. Wasson placed 3rd and Isaiah Smith placed 5th.

In improvised duet acting, two students draw characters, a location and a situation. They work together for 30 minutes to create a 4-7 minute scene with a beginning, a middle and an end. Two freshmen, Adeline Dougherty and Katria Kindscher, placed ninth.

Dramatic interpretation is a serious solo performance of material from the stage, books, screen or radio. The student can represent one or more characters. Bayle Sandy led the squad by qualifying for state and placing 2nd in dramatic interpretation. Kindscher placed fifth and Honomichl placed 7th. Also competing in dramatic interpretation were Kenia Balderama, Brooke Lewis and Adeline Dougherty.

Humorous interpretation has the same basic rules, but it is funny in nature. Junior, Bryce Hopkins placed fifth. CJ Gibson also competed in humorous interpretation.

In informative speaking the student researches and delivers an original, factual speech to fulfill the general purpose of informing the audience. The students often prepare visuals to accompany the speech. Representing  the Panthers were Wasson with a 4th place, and Heath with a 3rd Place finish. Balderama also presented an informative.

In extemporaneous speaking, the student draws three topics on current national and international events and selects one. They have thirty minutes to prepare for a seven-minute speech on that topic. They consult research materials, but notes are used at a minimum during the speech. Hopkins placed 4th and Pokoroski placed 5th in extemporaneous speaking.

In poetry interpretation, the student prepares and delivers one or more selections of poetry. Each program centers on a theme. The performance has an original introduction and transitions if necessary. It uses a manuscript. Students sharing poetry from Great Bend included Gibson, Isaiah Smith, Xanna Smith, and Lewis.

The Panthers will open their student congress competition this Friday in Newton. On Saturday, February 1, they will host a forensics tournament at Great Bend High School. Local students are looking for volunteers to help judge the event. Over​ ​30 community​ ​volunteers​ ​are​ ​needed​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​day​ ​event​ ​to​ ​evaluate​ students. Great Bend does not compete in our own tournament, but rather hosts it for other area schools. The high school ​students​ ​rely​ ​on​ ​judges​ ​from​ ​all​ ​walks​ ​of​ ​life​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​valuable​ ​feedback​ ​for​ ​improvement, growth, ​and​encouragement. ​ ​​No​ ​previous​ ​experience​ ​​is​​ necessary​ ​to​ ​judge.

Judging​ ​each​ ​round​ ​is a 1½ hour​ ​commitment​. ​ ​Volunteers may​ ​judge​ ​as​ ​little​ ​as​ one​ ​round​ ​or​ ​as​ ​many​ ​as​ several​ ​rounds​ ​​during the ​day. Rounds begin in the morning and run through early afternoon. Complimentary​ ​lunch, ​snacks, ​and​ ​beverages​ ​will​ ​be​ ​provided. ​ The​ ​most​ common​ ​feedback​ ​from​ ​community​ ​judges​ ​after​ ​they​ ​have​ ​completed​ ​judging​ ​is​ ​they​ ​feel hopeful​ ​for​ our​ ​country’s​ ​future​ ​hearing​ ​youth​ ​who​ ​express​ ​themselves​ ​so​ ​clearly​ ​and​ ​eloquently. If you would like to help judge, please contact Kim Heath at [email protected]