HHS Speech & Debate team places in Watertown tourney

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The Huron High School Speech & Debate Team traveled to the first Donus D. Roberts Memorial Tournament on Jan. 19-20. It is named after a former Watertown Coach who is nationally recognized in the Speech & Debate community.

Top finishers from Huron were:
• In Varsity Student Congress, Cameron Cutshaw placed first.
• In Program Oral Interp, Samantha Swanson placed second.

• In Humorous Interp, Cameron Cutshaw placed fifth and Tessa Gogolin placed sixth.
• In Duet Interp, Samantha Swanson and Mylie Byrd finished seventh.

“Cameron had a great tournament, making the awards stage twice,” said head coach Mitch Gaffer. “We’re also very impressed with the interp finishers who placed in their respective final rounds. As we work toward the national qualifying tournament in February, finishes like these are important. Our students establish themselves as being one of the top on the circuit, as well as let us know their development of each piece is on the right track.”


Cameron Cutshaw is shown with his first place Student Congress award.

Gaffer said this Roberts Tournament used to be called the Watertown Speech Fiesta. After Roberts retired, it was decided to name the tournament in honor of him.

“He really was a great coach,” Gaffer said. “The awards ceremony at the National Speech & Debate Tournament is called the Focus D. Roberts Awards Ceremony. I have earned four Coaching Diamonds during my career here in Huron. Donus has 11. When I was debating for SF Washington in the 1970s, Donus used to judge me! It was an honor to coach against him and his teams.”

The next tournament for the HHS Speech & Debate Team is the Yankton Lewis & Clark Tournament on Jan. 26-27