By ABBY SLANKER
There’s no debating it — Canfield’s speech and debate team is Ohio’s best.
For the first time in school history, the squad placed first in the 2013 Ohio High School Speech League State Tournament. The event, with primary sponsor Youngstown State University, had approximately 900 students representing more than 80 schools competing in 13 different events. It was co-hosted by Canfield and Boardman March 1-2.
The awards ceremony was held at Canfield, recognizing the state finalists, including the top competitors in each event, as well as the top teams.
Canfield won the state championship, beating runner-up Wooster 63.5-51. Additionally, Canfield had two individuals win state championships in their respective events: senior Nathan Pecchia in Dramatic Interpretation and senior Andrik Massaro in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
Canfield team members who also placed at the state tournament included: Humor, Tim Nesnidol, senior, (second in Ohio); International Extemp, Richie Abel, junior, (third in Ohio); Humor, Dominique Favre, junior, (seventh in Ohio) and United States Extemp, Arjun Subramanyam, junior, (seventh in Ohio).
Placing in the top eight in Ohio in Public Forum Debate were Stephen Gant, sophomore, and Maleck Saleh, sophomore.
Placing in the top 10 in Ohio in were Rosie Jo Neddy, Duo, senior; Mary Elizabeth Monda, Duo, junior and Gary Zamary, Impromptu, junior.
Placing in the top 16 in Ohio in Lincoln-Douglas Debate was Sara Lytle, junior.
The Canfield squad also won the inaugural G. Robert Santo Excellence in Dramatic, Humorous, and Duo Interpretation Award. The award goes to the team with the most combined ranks of ‘1’ in preliminary through final rounds by its students at the state tournament in those categories.
Nathan Pecchia also won the Arlene Akerman Award in Dramatic Interpretation, which recognizes the Dramatic Interpretation competitor with the most ranks of ‘1’ in rounds from preliminary rounds through final round.
The Canfield Speech and Debate Team is led by Jeremy Hamilton, with assistants Sami Nesnidol, Susan Schiraldi, Jacob Schriner-Briggs, Jillian Smith and Janet Vagas.