02/14/12  The Plymouth High School Speech and Debate Team held the annual William Young Tournament on February 4. The tournament was named in honor of the late William Young and family for their support for the program over many years.


Winning both International Extemporaneous (IX) Speaking and Impromptu was Patrick Felke.

Felke was in a field of 17 competitors in IX. Contestants must research prior to the contest on a variety of topics of international interest. At the tournament, competitors draw a topic and then have 30 minutes to prepare a seven minute speech that is then delivered without notes. In the speech, contestants are also challenged to support their views on the topic by citing quotations from experts on the topic from news articles. Felke excelled in the three preliminary rounds and a final round.


The day started with 47 entries in Impromptu. Contestants are given a topic when they enter a room, allowed three minutes to compose their thoughts, and deliver a five minute speech. The topic can be a word, quotation, or current event. In the end, Felke’s ability to organize information, deliver a factual speech while at the same time speak with an entertaining quality, propelled him to the number one placing.


Also placing first at the tournament were the duo partners of Jason Pickell and Kyle Barry. The day started with 30 pairs entered in the Memorize Duo section. After three preliminary rounds and a final when six duos battled it out, Pickell and Barry ranked at the top.

PHS Speech and Debate Team Head Coach David McKenzie said, “On Forensics Online (a national on-line forum for speech and debate students and coaches), the students were commenting that the tournament field was very indicative of the state finals.  They claimed that this was “the tournament” of the year in terms of competition.”

Schools represented at the Young Tournament included those ranking 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th in class AAA and those ranking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in Class AA at the state tournament in 2011.

Carol Anders Correspondent