The Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate Team went to the District 15-AAAAA UIL Cross Examination Debate Tournament on Tuesday, January 29th with one purpose in mind – to qualify for the State Meet. All 3 MPHS teams medaled in the top 6.
The duo of freshman Connelly Cowan and sophomore Taryn Thurman took 1st place and captured the District Championship, qualifying them for the State Meet in Austin.
Cowan received the gavel for Top Speaker of the District, scoring a perfect 90 out of a possible 90 points.
Taking 5th place was the team of freshmen Taylor Hubbs and Roberto Castellano, both first-year debaters. Rounding out the MPHS medals and placing 6th was the team of senior Audrey Courreges and sophomore Ryan Sharp.
“This year was a new challenge,” said MPHS Debate Coach Cody Morris. “As everyone knows, Mount Pleasant was put into a new district with the UIL realignment last spring. That meant that we would have to square off against the powerhouse program of Lindale who has produced the State Champion for four years straight. I was extremely proud of my team as they waged through the adversity to take 3 of the top six spots, including a district championship. It was even more impressive that of the 6 students who competed, there were only one senior, two sophomores and three were freshmen. Cowan and Thurman embody what a champion should be and earned the district championship through years of hard work and dedication. I truly believe that this team has State Champion written all over them.”
The State UIL Cross Examination Debate Tournament is March 22nd and 23rd on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
L to R: Roberto Castellano, Taryn Thurman, Connelly Cowan, Coach Cody Morris, Audrey Courreges, and Taylor Hubbs (not pictured, Ryan Sharp)