After three long days competing against thirty-three East Texas teams at the UIL NSDA District Tournament, four MPHS Speech and Debate team members have advanced to the national tournament while numerous others are alternates.  The National Qualifying tournament was held February 21-23 on the Northeast Texas Community College campus.

In Dramatic Interpretation (DI), senior Ja’Quacy Minter took one of the two advancing spots and will make his first appearance at the national tournament.  Minter is the son of Tedd and Danielle Minter.

In United States Extemporaneous Speaking, sophomore Reid Pinckard was one of the top two speakers and will make his first appearance at the national level.  Pinckard is the son of Ritchie and Amanda Pinckard.

In CX Debate, the team of sophomore Taryn Thurman and freshman Connelly Cowan went 5-1 at district to claim the second national qualifying spot.  It will also be their first trip to the national tournament.  Thurman is the daughter of Tris and Stephanie Thurman and Cowan is the daughter of Collin and Kelly Cowan.

Six team members earned alternate spots and may get to compete if a qualifier cannot attend.  Alternates include the team of senior Audrey Courreges and sophomore Ryan Sharp in CX debate, Courreges in Original Oratory, Sharp in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Congressional debate, junior Caroline Rose in Lincoln-Douglas debate, sophomore Isabella Greco in United States Extemporaneous Speaking and Congressional debate, and the team of freshmen Roberto Castellano and Taylor Hubbs in CX debate.

“This year we have seen amazing success,” said MPHS Speech and Debate coach, Cody Morris. “We only had two National Qualifiers ever in school history up to this point, and then got four just this year! I am just so proud of these students. It was a lot of fun to see all the hard work these students have put in come to fruition. We continue to take steps forward each year and the students at MPHS continue to exceed expectations.”

The NSDA National tournament will be held June 16-21, 2019 in Dallas.