GCHS forensics team qualifies for state competition





Jordan George first joined forensics as a way to get out of keyboarding class. Then she ended up taking the class her freshman, junior and senior years.

Now a senior, George, like many of her forensics classmates at Garden City High School, has qualified to compete at the state level. George will appear at the state forensics competition in the dramatic interpretation category.

It's been a great year so far for the competitive actors on the forensics team. The team has about 40 students participating, and the team has qualified 36 entries for state.

Russ Tidwell, instructor and coach, said what's important now is tweaking the entries for the state competition. A few other students also may qualify in upcoming tournaments.

"Ultimately, what's really important for the end of the season is that we're able to find 16 really good events that we can compete in at the state tournament. That's all (the Kansas State High School Activities Association) will let us take," he said.

Tidwell said he thinks the students will be competitive at state.

"We're in the phase now where we're really playing with the pieces we can take," he said.

Tidwell said this is one of the best teams he's had.

"I think this is one of the most talented groups across the board. They're incredibly talented. If you look at some of the entries, some of the qualifiers are freshmen," he said.

Junior Andrea Villela is in her second year in forensics. She hasn't qualified for state yet but hopes to. She's hoping to qualify in prose and duet.

"I love that everyone acts goofy," Villela said about what he likes about forensics. "I like that everyone can act in front of people — and it's the basics to better acting."

Senior Jacyn Dawes has been in forensics all four years of high school. This year, she has qualified for state in both original oration and informative speech.

Dawes said she's proud of the team, particularly the underclassmen.

"We definitely have a really good team with a lot of first- and second-year kids. It just shows they'll be good in the future," she said.

Junior Tucker Schiffelbein is in his second year in forensics. He had always been involved in theater and decided he wanted to take it to the competition level. He's qualified for state in duet acting and is working on a humorous interpretation and prose.

"We have a lot of people who are still going to get state qualified. It says a lot about the talent of the squad," he said.

Senior D. Dennis has qualified for state in humorous interpretation and prose in his second year on the team.

Dennis said forensics can be a great outlet for students who just enjoy acting, and he encourages others to get involved.

"If you like being on stage and making people laugh, or cry, but don't want to go through the hassle of doing a show over and over, this is for you," he said.

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