Sophomores Shannon Steines and Mady Cohodes brought home medals from the IHSA State Finals Super Congress, where they competed against 14 of the best speakers in the state.
The two students fought their way through seven and a half hours of preliminary rounds and three hours of semi-finals to reach the final. Of the more than 600 students who debate in Illinois, 176 made the trip to Springfield.
Shannon reflected after the tournament, “Being in State finals was amazing, not only because it was the culmination of all my hard work from all season, but also because I was able to experience the highest level of debate in my career.”
Hersey entered ten students, five of whom made the semis. Sophomores Ethan Bowers, Kelly Miller, and Josh Irvine were the semi-finalists.
Mady also qualified for IHSA All-State, which is determined by the ten highest scores in the preliminary rounds. Mady remarked, “My personal goal was to break to state finals, which I accomplished! We're all proud- our team has beaten the odds as a group of sophomores, and I'm excited to see what's in store for us next year.
Coach Jack Stanislaw said, “Our entire team performed well in the entire contest, but I was particularly proud of Shannon and Mady; they represented Hersey bravely in the finals.”
The IHSA was the last team event of the season, but Mady’s season continues until June 12-17 when she contends for the National Speech and Debate Association’s national Finals held in Salt Lake City.
Mady concluded that the IHSA “has given me the experience I'll need to succeed in national tournaments later this year, and the confidence that I can place at state 2017.”