After losing some of its most experienced members to graduation last spring, the Sailors speech team entered last weekend's season opener with many questions about what to expect.
Steamboat Springs High School coaches Marty and Shauna Lamansky were pleased with the early answers.
Eleven of the 13 team members attending last Saturday's Moffat County Invitational Tournament received an award in one or both of the events they entered. The team was led by junior Amanda Toy, who placed first in public forum debate with teammate Patrick Kuczkowski and second in the extemporaneous speaking event.
"With as many new team members as we have this year, we were not really sure of what to expect," Marty Lamansky said in a statement. "The team had a great, positive attitude all day, and it showed up in their results."
Toy and senior Joey Andrew, a four-year speech team member, are providing the leadership left void by the graduation of Beth Ludwig and Julia Patterson, Shauna Lamansky said.
"We've got some really good leadership," she said. "It was a great start (to the season)."
Nine of the team's 12 members are new, and Andrew is the only senior. Two members left the team this week.
New members Catherine Mann, Kimberly Lewis and Lydia Kindred placed in the top six in each of their events, with Mann taking first place in impromptu speaking and third place in humor; Lewis earning third place in poetry and fifth place in impromptu speaking, and Kindred claiming fourth place in the duo interpretation event and sixth place in humor.
Veteran team member Stephanie Engle placed second in public forum debate and fifth in extemporaneous speaking. Kelly Shaw also finished second in public forum debate. Andrew placed third in original oratory.
The season gets off to a fast start for the Sailors, who traveled to Fort Collins on Friday for the Rocky Mountain Lobo Invitational. The team will head to Denver the weekend of Nov. 15 for the Denver East/Cherry Creek Invitational, followed by the Greeley Central Invitational to be held Nov. 22.
"The month of November will give us a good idea of where we stand not only on the Western Slope but with other teams throughout the state," Shauna Lamansky said.
Four early season tournaments also will give the team's newcomers a chance to quickly adjust to speech tournament formats and competition, she said.
"I think it gives them a strong start to see what they need to do and then they'll have a little time off to see what changes we need to make to get ready for the rest of the season," Shauna Lamansky said.
After the speech team's strong showing at its first tournament, the coaches hope for a season as successful as last year, when numerous team members went on to compete at the tate and national levels.
"They're very enthusiastic and very confident," Shauna Lamansky said. "It's nice to have that."
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