Ray Speech and Debate Wins Big at Valley Tournament!

Carlos Carroll

This past Saturday, September 22, 2018, the Ray Speech and Debate Team traveled over two hours south to Harlingen, Texas to compete at the Harlingen High School South TFA Tournament. The team took a large squad of 38 people, many of them freshmen and first-time competitors. The results were outstanding and are listed below:


1st Place Wins!

Aamil Farishta & Kevin Craig in Public Forum Debate

Genevieve Cox in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Richard Waterhouse & Arish Bawani in Cross-Examination Debate

Richard Waterhouse was also awarded Top Speaker


In addition, many of the students above joined even more Ray Students to place in the following events:


Dramatic Interpretation

Natalie Palacios: 7th place, NIETOC bid winner


Congressional Debate

Sunnie Harkness: 5th place

Carlos Carroll: 7th place


Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking

Genevieve Cox: 2nd place

Carlos Carroll: 4th place

Aamil Farishta: 5th place

Sunnie Harkness: 8th place


Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Ian Mintz: 2nd place


Public Forum Debate

Ian Mintz & Morgan Kuchta: 2nd place


Informative Speaking

Evan Hsiang: 5th place


Natalie Palacios earned a special distinction this weekend that merits more discussion. She placed 7th in Dramatic Interpretation, but by merit of just advancing to the Semifinal round in that event, she earned a bid to the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC). This is a prestigious, National tournament that competitors must earn at least 2 bids in order to be invited. Send your congratulations to Natalie if you see her!


Overall, Ray High School placed 4th as a school among 33 others. The next competition for the team will be on October 13th. Some members of the team will likely travel to Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, and another part of the squad will go to the PSJA Southwest High School tournament. Although the competition season has begun, the team is still accepting any interested student who wants to learn more about the program.


Ray High School theater teacher and Speech Coach James Stroud poses with Natalie Palacios (10th) after she wins 7th place in Dramatic Interpretation at the Harlingen High School South TFA Tournament and earns a bid to the NIETOC in that event.