Image courtesy Marjorie Dunn 
Homer DDF member Thea Person, shown in this screenshot taken during the DDF State Championship, held virtually Feb. 11-13, 2021.

Image courtesy Marjorie Dunn Homer DDF member Thea Person, shown in this screenshot taken during the DDF State Championship, held virtually Feb. 11-13, 2021.

Drama, debate and forensics team takes 2nd at state championships

Homer team took 1st in debate for small schools

Homer High School’s Drama, Debate and Forensics team scored second place out of all Division II schools during this past weekend’s state championship tournament.

The championships were held virtually, as were most of the tournaments this season, so Homer students competed out of the high school’s library. In addition to coming in second for DII schools overall, the Homer team took first place in debate for DII schools as well.

Head coach Marjorie Dunn said that, given the circumstances of the virtual tournament, the team performed well.

“The students showed great spirit and perseverance and support of each other as teammates,” she said.

Dunn said a lot is missed when meets are held virtually that students would normally get to enjoy in face-to-face events. For example, she said competitors often form deep friendships with students from other schools all across the state, due to the nature of the tournaments in which teams from different schools have a lot of crossover.

“It is amazing how students really become good friends with students from other schools,” Dunn said.

Homer teammates did try to keep in touch with their DDF acquaintances virtually this year, she said, but the virtual tournaments just aren’t the same in terms of engagement.

One positive aspect that did come from holding the state championships remotely was that it provided the opportunity to have judges from around Alaska and even out of state, Dunn said. DDF tournaments require a large amount of adult judges in order to successfully hold all the individual events and categories. Because the meet was held virtually, organizers were able to tap people, including former High High graduates, from wherever they live to have them judge events.

Sophomore Thea Person competed in the state championships and took fifth place in the extemporaneous commentary event. This is her second year on the team, and the other two events she competed in this season were humorous interpretation and readers theater.

“It actually went remarkably smoothly,” she said of the tournament.

Virtual meets are always hard, but she didn’t experience any tech mishaps that she can remember, she said. Person said a friend of hers found the readers theater piece she used. She was drawn to it because it had lots of characters and lots of depth for being a short piece.

Person said she found her humorous interpretation piece toward the end of last season. At that point she didn’t have time to learn and incorporate it, so she saved it for this season.

Being a sophomore, Person said she’s spent the same amount of time doing in-person DDF tournaments as she has doing virtual ones. It wasn’t easy transitioning to remote competitions this year, but she said she thinks it may have been a little easier for her to get used to it than some of the upperclassmen.

In some ways it was a whole new activity, but in others it stayed the same, she said.

“I have such an awesome team and awesome coaches,” Person said. “And even though it was a strange year, it was nice to be able to share this weirdness with them.”

Dunn said the community and Homer High School have prepared her students well for DDF and the competitions that come with it.

“We’ve got a really amazing group of students who stuck it out in this remote mode for tournaments all year long, and I’m so proud of each and every one of them.”

State DDF Championship Team awards

Homer DDF as a whole – second place for Division II schools

Homer Debate – first place for Division II schools

Individual awards

Eleanor Sweeney: fourth place Dramatic Interpretation

Larry Dunn: second place Domestic Extemporaneous Speech

Larry Dunn: semifinalist, Lincoln Douglas Debate (first place speaker points)

Spencer Co: semifinalist, Lincoln Douglas Debate

Zach Marley: quarterfinalist, Lincoln Douglas Debate (second place speaker points)

Thea Person: fifth place Extemporaneous Commentary

Local volunteers who helped judge the state championship: Amy Johnson, Robert Hockema, Kyle Schneider, Barb Veeck and Kyra Wager.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Homer DDF member Larry Dunn during the DDF State Championships held virtually Feb. 11-13, 2021. (Photo courtesy Marjorie Dunn)

Homer DDF member Larry Dunn during the DDF State Championships held virtually Feb. 11-13, 2021. (Photo courtesy Marjorie Dunn)

More in News

Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink address members of the media during a remote press conference on Monday, March 1 in Alaska. (Screenshot)
State to receive 8,900 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Alaska continues to lead the nation in vaccine rollout

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, listens as Rep. Zack Fields, D-Anchorage, delivers an apology on Friday, March 5, 2021, for earlier remarks. Vance called for a Sense of the House vote to rebuke Fields for his comments. (Peter Segall/The Juneau Empire via AP, Pool)
Alaska House condemns comments about lawmaker’s appearance

Sense of the House sponsored by Rep. Sarah Vance

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: IFQ permits go by mail only on request

Pandemic work conditions prevented mass mailings of IFQ permits

Homer News file photo
Homer High School.
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

This image compilation shows the latest winners of the Mariners on the Move award from Homer High School. (Image courtesy Paul Story)
Mariners on the Move

In the latest installment of awarding Homer High School students with a… Continue reading

Sue Post and Jim Levine walk across a field to observe northern lights on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Aurora dazzles over Homer

Good viewing was seen on Tuesday, Wednesday

Mike Chihuly and Crosson on a snowshoe outing in a blizzard in Ninilchik. (Photo courtesy Mike Chihuly)
Ninilchik author explores bird dog hunting in latest work

The book features photos and recollections of more than 40 years hunting Alaska game birds with dogs.

Tracy Silta (left) administers a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to Melissa Linton during a vaccine clinic at Soldotna Prep School on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District vaccine clinic sees large turnout

The clinic was targeted specifically to KPBSD staff

Most Read