Raphael Nigaglioni | Staff Writer

Each year, various schools host speech and debate tournaments. Recently, Johnson held the Blue Bonnet Classic, their own version of the speech and debate tournament. Students involved with these events volunteered to help aid and run the tournament. But everything is overlooked by the speech teacher, Barbara McCain.

“The Blue Bonnet Classic is the annual speech and debate tournament that we host. For the tournament we have to make sure we have enough judges for all the events, which basically means that every hour and a half we need about 60-75 judges,”  McCain said.

The speech tournaments are hard to attend, but even harder to run.

“It’s a lot of work to go to a tournament and participate, and that is about one tenth what you do when you run the tournament. I don’t think people realize that I’m not the one who runs the tournament, it’s the students that do. They are responsible for making sure the judges get to where they need to be, that we get the kids where they need to be, and overall just making sure that everyone gets to where they need to be because we all know that our school is difficult to get around,” McCain said.

Although the Blue Bonnet Classic is overlooked by McCain, it is the students who run the tournament.

“I was the junior tournament director, we had a senior tournament director, and we just had different other people running around doing different jobs,” junior Ishan Bhaiani said.

The students who ran the tournament agree just as much that it is more work running than attending.

“I prefer attending speech tournaments because you don’t have a fourth of the stress that people running it do. Running the tournament gave me a better sense of what people running the tournaments go through,” Bhaidani said.

Although various schools came to compete only a few could win.

“This year, Churchill just swept the tournament. They had an army of kids here and they did extremely well. They deserved first. There was a tie for second between Regan and Lee. Lee brought a lot of kids and did really well, and Regan just knocked it out of the ballpark in debate. Those were the top three schools at this tournament,” McCain said.

After the awards comes the most dreadful task: cleanup.

“(Cleanup) was long and it was hard. Having to clean up after everyone really gave me a better sense of what the people who run speech tournaments go through. It makes me think twice now about when I throw trash on the floor or something like that,” Bhaidani said.

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About The Author

Raphael is a sophomore at Johnson. He "loves" to write and interview students for the newspaper. Beware, you may be the next to be interviewed...

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