CHOTEAU — Choteau High School will be the home of the 2024 Montana State Class B and C State Speech and Debate Tournament.
“To bring that many people to town and show off our town and what Choteau as a community can do is pretty impressive,” said head coach Cody Marney.
Impressive is an understatement as each member of the squad made it to the 2023 State Tournament - leaving an impression on schools and coaches throughout Montana.
“We are just as good as the teams that have 30-40 members, we have 10-15kids on our team and we are just as strong, just as talented,” exclaimed Ella Birkman, a junior at Choteau High School.
In 2024, Birkman is getting her last chance to show that the Bulldogs can compete with anyone.
“I'm excited to see how we do because, you know, it's a home meet. We must represent our school because this is how people see us. This is how people view us, the Speech and Drama team from Choteau.”
Coach Marney has his hands full when it comes to planning the state tournament and it will take an army for him to be successful.
“We are making it such a big deal because we need that community support and typically, we can pull together a regular tournament with about 60 volunteer judges for the state tournament we will need about 150-200 individual judges.”
For being the head coach for nearly a decade, Coach Marney feels a sense of pride knowing his colleagues in the Speech and Debate world trust him and his assistant with such a huge task.
When it comes to students like Ella, who will draw the curtain at the State Tournament next year, it’s a story out of a fairy tale to do it on her home turf.
“I’m a sucker for romantic endings.”
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