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

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read