Members of the combined speech and debate team from Lovell and Rocky Mountain high schools wrapped up their season at the state competition held in Rock Springs this week, competing against 353 participants from 33 schools.
Cole Moncur and Dylan May took sixth place for their duet. The two have been working on the duet based on the play “Sweeney Todd” since last summer. Moncur also made the quarterfinals with his poetry.
“We really liked the characters in the play ‘Sweeney Todd,’” said Moncur. “We thought it would be a good way to show that we could go from humor to a drama.”
The pair said they thought that doing a complex piece like ‘Sweeney Todd’ would give them a better chance of winning at the numerous competitions they attended all season. They chose the piece because the complexity of playing the different characters and foreign accents would show their range of performance skills.
“There were a lot of ups and downs for us at State,” said May. “We were nervous and sometimes it showed.”
“We had a lot riding on the competition, since it was our last performance of the season,” added Moncur.
The two have teamed up in duets the past two seasons and have made a good showing, placing many times in competitions. The two sophomores plan to team up again next year and have already selected the play Chicago to adapt for their performance. Both students hope to become professional actors some day.
“I think they did fantastic throughout the season, working very hard to be in the position they are in now,” said Coach Deb Fink. “They are determined to be accomplished and it showed.”
Fink said she thought the entire speech and debate team performed well this season.
“This group was not there to just have fun, they were there to succeed,” said Fink.
She noted that some of the team took on very challenging assignments, especially Jessica Emmett of LHS and Bailey Dugan of RMHS, who participated in the Lincoln Douglas debate, which is one of the more challenging categories to enter.
“I think all of the kids improved by the time they got to State,” said Fink.
Earlier this month three members of the team—Bailey Dugan, Cole Moncur and Dylan May– competed at the district level in Riverton, where only two from each event are allowed to go on to Nationals. Although they did not make the cut for Nationals, they all felt it was a good experience.
“I think District is a more difficult competition than State because only a few of the top ones get to go on to Nationals,” said Fink. “It’s a really hard competition because there’s really no placing. Either you make it or you don’t and that’s it.”
Fink said she really enjoyed working with this group of students who she said exhibited a great deal of camaraderie and were a pleasure to be around.
“I’m glad it’s over, but sad that it’s over,” said Fink. “I’ll really miss this group and look forward to seeing most of them return next season. They are such a fun group to work with and I’m very proud of them.”
By Patti Carpenter