Debate coach named 3A Forensic Coach of Year
PAYSON—The Manti High School speech and debate team took second in state, and their coach, Eric Peterson, was named 3A Forensic Coach of the Year, following a tournament March 18-19 at Salem Hills High School.
“We probably got the highest ranking at state since 1999,” Peterson said.
Several team members placed in the top 10 in their events, including David Heslop, who took first in region. “He is one of the best I’ve seen in Student Congress for years. He was just amazing,” Peterson said.
Other students who stood out at the state tournament included Sierra Howell, who took second in oratory; Anneke Bahlmann, who was third in dramatic interpretation; and Ramzy Quarnberg, who took sixth in foreign extemporaneous speaking.
Still others were Kennedy Lundeberg, who took third in national extemporaneous speaking; Hallie Williams, who was fourth in informative speaking; and Grace Draper, who was third in state in impromptu speaking.
Petersen teaches three debate classes at Manti High, in addition to teaching English and history. He says he was assigned to teach debate classes because of his experience participating in high school debate all four years at Gunnison High School.
Learning debate skills in high school is a career asset for students in any direction they choose to go after graduation, he says. The skills are also helpful for service in the community.
“Let me just say that America unofficially started with a debated compromise on board the Mayflower because the rival factions realized that they were in the same boat, both literally and figuratively,” Peterson said in an email to the Messenger. “We had to remember that truth in 1787 as we debated the glorious compromise, we call our Constitution.
“Today we must remember that teaching the rising generation that process is the only way the good ship America will keep sailing to her appointed destination.”