Wrightstown forensics trio makes history at national tournament

While the majority of the country celebrated Memorial Day, Caden Berry, Lauren Broman, and Sammie Zuberbier made history as the first Wrightstown High School students to participate in a national-level forensic tournament.
The trio, having qualified for the tournament back in February, represented Wrights-town and the Green Bay Diocese in the National Catholic Forensic League’s Grand National Tourna-ment in Milwaukee on May 25-26.
The tournament included 537 schools, 2,005 entries, and 1,418 judges from 31 states. All speech contestants in the tournament participated in four preliminary rounds of competition on Saturday. Each round included six to seven competitors who judges ranked based on the quality of their performance.
The overall top 48 entries in each category advanced to elimination rounds on Sunday, which included octofinals (top 48), quarterfinals (top 24), semifinals (top 12) and finals (top 6).
The top-ranked performer after finals was recognized as the national champion in his/her event.
The six speech events included Declamation, Dramatic Perfor-mance, Duo Interpretation, Exte-mporaneous Speaking, Oral Interpretation, and Original Oratory.
Broman competed in Declam-ation and earned number one ranks from two judges but fell short of advancing to the Sunday elimination rounds. She finished 120th in a field of 215.
Zuberbier competed in Oral Interpretation where she also fell short of advancing but earned one number one rank and placed 143rd out of 200.
Berry was Wrightstown’s top performer as he ranked 19th overall in a field of 250 performers in Dramatic Performance after Saturday’s preliminary rounds. In fact, Berry finished ahead of the eventual national champion in preliminaries. Berry did not advance beyond octofinals, however, and finished 43rd overall.
Coach Dave Winkler was selected as one of five judges to critique the final round of Dramatic Performance. Winkler also judged a quarterfinal round of Extemporaneous Speaking, and
Coach Keith Halverson judged an octofinal round of duo interpretation. Both judged three of the four preliminary rounds on Saturday.
The National Catholic Forensic League was founded in 1951 and is based upon the ideal of open membership.
The league welcomes membership to all schools public and private in the United States and Canada. Every year, the NCFL sponsors the Grand National Tournament on Memorial Day weekend, offering six forensic events and four debate events.

Submitted photo Sammie Zuberbier, Caden Berry and Lauren Broman became the first Wrightstown High School students to participate in a national-level forensic tournament.