By Chase L. Manson ’16
After finishing as one of the top programs in the nation last year, Brophy’s Speech and Debate is ready to start this year.
“We have a have a ton of alums who come back and coach,” said Ms. Elizabeth Clarke, who is in her 12th year of being the Speech and Debate head coach. “We recruit a lot of people.”
The club has 25 returning seniors and about 70 students in total.
Timmy Holland ’16 said he is excited for the season, especially the team dinners and tournaments.
“Though the season is just starting, the preseason is showing a lot of success,” Holland said. “We have some great new members.”
Ms. Clarke said she is really looking forward to what the season has in store.
“I look forward to seeing the kids everyday,” Ms. Clarke said. “The day-to-day moments are the best.”
When asked about the success of Speech and Debate Ms. Clarke was modest.
“I think a lot of freedom works well,” Ms. Clarke said. “Very few things are mandatory.”
Those mandatory things are sectionals and state competitions with a few competitions scattered about. The most popular one is Harvard, which Ms. Clarke said is fun for all.
The program also boasts a majority of students who do college level speech and debate, and many alumni who come back to coach.
Holland said he takes a few tips from speech and debate.
“There are many great skills I have learned from doing Speech and Debate,” Holland said. “It really helps when you write a lot of essays for class.”
Ms. Clarke said the Brophy community has been a huge support of the program thought the years.
“I always love the energy from the community,” Ms. Clarke said. “The outward support is felt.”
In terms of if success will repeat for the year, Ms. Clarke was also humble.
“You can’t control the outcome, it has to be fun,” Ms. Clarke said. “Sometimes you’re going to surrender the outcome, and not taking ourselves too seriously.”