Forensics team becoming rising stars of Woodland Park Mac McClintock


Nope, this isn’t a competitive activity that receives the same notoriety as such sports as football, basketball or baseball. Regardless, forensic outings are booming in the Woodland Park RE-2 School District, with some students receiving national recognition.

In fact, last month the Woodland Park High School hosted their annual forensics meet. The event drew more than 200-plus participants from 24 schools all over Colorado. There was a wide variety of events that the students participated in, ranging from dramatic monologues to debates.

The WP forensics team is well-known for its dedication, practicing every week for about 20 weeks. This is because forensics is unlike most clubs or sports offered at the high school. Woodland Park has a storied history when it comes to forensics with the school having qualified at least one student for nationals for the past 24 years. This year’s team hopes to continue this stellar trend with several strong team members. This acclaimed list includes Zach Melton and Cassidy Allen, who compete in duos, Sage Brown, who competes in dramatic monologue (did not compete in this past tournament), and Lauren Mitchel and Ashlin Hurts, who compete in the Lincoln Douglas debate. All of these members have also previously either qualified for nationals (Lauren Mitchel) or were state semi-finalists (Zach Melton, Cassidy Allen, and Sage Brown). This forensics team appears to be in a great position this year to be extremely competitive at all of their debates.

The judges for the debates in Woodland Park were not previously trained , but instead, were people who volunteered to help. It is worth mentioning that most of these volunteers were at the WP High School for the recent forensics tournament for close to twelve hours. I personally believe that they did an absolutely amazing job in helping make this large event possible. Without their help, the whole forensic meet would not have been possible and so they deserve to be thanked for their contributions.

The recent tournament at Woodland Park was set up as follows: There were three qualifying rounds that eventually led to six finalists being selected in drama and only the top two competing in debate. With more than 200 participants, it was truly impressive that Zach Melton and Cassidy Allen both were able to qualify for the finals. Woodland Park as a whole did not have as stellar a performance as team leaders hoped for. They team fell short of ranking in the top three in the overall debate showdown. Team leaders attribute this less than stellar showing due to the fact that two of their better members, Sage Brown and Amanda Roth, did not compete.

Even with this performance, the forensics team did an amazing job in representing our community. The Woodland Park High School was also extremely well prepared for the event, having little to no problems using the space provided or having any long delays between rounds. The forensic meet was an absolute success, not just for the dedicated students who participated in it, but also for the community as a whole.