Forensics squad features large novice class

Jordan Huesers, Features Editor

With 13 State qualifiers after five weeks of competition, the forensics team plans to compete in their next tournament on Friday, March 11.

“Our goal is always to do well at invitational tournaments, to go to State and to qualify people for Nationals,” coach Chris Riffer said.

Typically, the squad competes in tournaments each weekend.

“We have a lot more diversity in the students on the squad,” junior Stephanie Shull said. “We are a team that usually focuses on speeches, but this year some of the new kids and freshmen have stepped up and are doing the acting events.”

Riffer said this year’s team has the largest novice class in his time at BV — including 37 freshmen.

“We do a good job so even the freshmen can have an impact on varsity,” Riffer said. “They all interact well.”

In the forensics class, students learn about different events and practice in-class performances. Freshman Ajay Subramanian said Riffer enhances their performing techniques by giving feedback, and helps them become great performers.

“We have a lot of really amazing speakers and animated actors,’” Subramanian said. “It is a nice blend.”

In class, Shull said Riffer focuses on the novices, yet helps to perfect the older students’ performances as well.

“He specifically makes sure people try different events to find out what they are good at and enjoy,” Shull said.

Possible events include: extemporaneous, oration, informative, interpretation, duet/duo, impromptu, prose/poetry, Congress, Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum.

Preparation for tournaments depends greatly upon the event.

Shull competes in the extemporaneous speaking event. She said this event requires more preparation than some. In the event, she informatively or persuasively speaks about current events and uses prepared articles from magazines, journals and newspapers.

The tournaments begin with three preliminary rounds, in which everyone participates.

The judges then rank the competitors — the lower the rank, the better. The top six or seven students with the lowest score then compete in the final round.

“We’ve got a lot of  junior and senior talent,” Riffer said. “They attend a lot of the tournaments and put in a lot of work.”