The high school forensics, or speech, team traveled to Craig on Saturday for its first big tournament of the season -- the Moffat County Bulldog Invitational at Moffat County High School.
Co-coach Shauna Lamansky said the nine members who made the trip ran into a stiff challenge.
"Competition was tougher at this tournament than it has been in recent years, due to the larger schools of Montrose High School and Central High School in Grand Junction being there," she said.
Despite facing off against more experienced, larger teams, Steamboat orators received three awards at the tournament.
Ninth-grader Josie Pacana finished third in the Humor and Creative Storytelling contests, which Lamansky called "quite a feat for this novice freshman competitor."
Pacana's humorous performance was called "Rapunzel Uncut," a modernized, updated version of the classic fairy tale. Lamansky praised Pacana's ability to compete against juniors and seniors.
"It seems like it doesn't matter who Josie goes up against," Lamansky said. "She's unique in that regard."
The Public Forum Debate team of sophomores Ashley Lopez and Annie Kuczkowski finished in fifth place with two wins and one loss. At a Rangely event Nov. 5, Lopez won the debate competition without a loss.
"When you add those bigger schools into the mix, that changes things up a bit," Lamansky said.
The team is now "taking a little time off" to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and participate in other school activities, Lamansky said.
Many team members will bring their exemplary elocution execution to the stage this weekend, taking part in two performances of William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" in the high school auditorium.
In the comedic play dealing with male chauvinism, farcical romantic pursuits and women's liberation, Pacana will play two roles, Vincentio and Curtis. Seth Davidson, also a freshman, will play Hortensio. Junior speech team member Austin Anderson will play Biondello, and freshman Rianne Marr is the stage manager. Kuczkowski and fellow sophomores Laura Holthausen and Jordan Davidson are on the technical crew for the play, which will be performed at 7 p.m. today and Saturday.
Lamansky said participating in the play could help team members improve their forensic skills.
"Any time they're working on a project, it helps their skill-building for whatever activities that they do," she said.
The speech team's next competition is the Glenwood Festival Meet on Dec. 3 at Glenwood Springs High School. Festival events draw smaller schools than tournament-style competitions such as the Moffat County event, Lamansky said.