For the second year in a row, speech will send a speaker to the National Forensic League National Tournament.
Cody Goodchild has qualified for the second time in Congressional Debate with a second place finish in House I at the NFL Northern Lights District speech tournament held recently at Champlin Park High School.
Goodchild is the first two-time national qualifier in school history. Right behind him was Jed Rothstein, finishing as first alternate in fourth place.
In public forum debate, sophomores Goodchild and Rothstein teamed up to square off against over 30 other teams to finish in fifth place and as second alternates to nationals.
“This was some of the toughest competition I’ve ever seen at a district tournament,” said head coach Mike Frickstad. “Both Cody and Jed did a great job in Super Congress, and their top finishes out of over 60 competitors reflect that.”
With a broad smile evident Goodchild in his words felt “fantastic” about qualifying to nationals again after competing in Dallas last June. “I know what to look forward to, and I'm excited to get that opportunity again.”
A national qualification anchored a strong team effort by the St. Michael-Albertville and Buffalo speech teams, fielding 24 competitors in the Congress and three public-forum debate pairs. Debating resolutions on issues foreign and domestic, the team bus headed home heavy with awards and placewinners. In House I Katrina Budde placed fifth; competing in House II LeeAnne Kovacs was voted second; Anna Drobnick third, along with Betsy Bartholomew and Louis Durang, tied at sixth place. Advancing to Super Congress, along with Goodchild and Rothstein, was Michael Bruner and Buffalo’s Conrad Weinzetl.
With 15 schools and several hundred competing students, the tournament was split up into several chambers to allow for more speeches: one Senate, three House I’s, two House II’s, and one each of lower chambers III and IV. The second day, the top competitors from House I advanced into a Super Congress chamber to determine the three national qualifiers. The Senate selected two from its membership for the honor of competition in Indianapolis, Ind., this June.
Not surprisingly, many STMA and Buffalo students stepped up to serve as a presiding officer. Conrad Weinzetl of Buffalo managed debate during the Super Congress. Goodchild and Rothstein both served as House I presiding officers on the first day of competition. Earning a gavel in House II were Bartholomew and Drobnick along with Paige Florip in House III.
This will be the second year in a row STMA has qualified a student to the national tournament. Last year two made it: Rothstein as a first place finisher in extemporaneous speaking and Goodchild as first alternate in Congress. Before that, STMA has sent two to nationals, both from the Congress: Dan Gallagher from House I in 2006 and Ron Miller from the Senate in 2004.
Rothstein and the rest of the team will get another chance to qualify for Indianapolis at the Northern Lights NFL district speech tournament in March. Set right in the middle of the speech season, the district tourney will feature competition in extemporaneous speaking, humorous interpretation, dramatic interpretation, original oratory, and duo interpretation.
Winning the tournament trophy in the all-around congress points race was St. Francis High School. STMA finished third overall behind St. Francis and Champlin Park.