Carson High speech, debate students on way to nationals

The Carson High School speech & debate team, from left, Sadie Share, Shaylin Segura, Sandro Figueroa and Shane Morton qualified for the Nationals in Dallas, Texas. Not pictured is team member Jacob Bertocchi.

The Carson High School speech & debate team, from left, Sadie Share, Shaylin Segura, Sandro Figueroa and Shane Morton qualified for the Nationals in Dallas, Texas. Not pictured is team member Jacob Bertocchi.

Carson High will have an orator in the tradition of Lincoln, three others who have had a taste of what Congressional debate is like and a humorist who all will have a chance to display their skills on the national stage.

The five CHS students have qualified in their various events for the National Speech and Debate Championships June 14-20 in Dallas. Sophomore Shaylin Segura, freshman Sadie Share, junior Sandro Figueroa, sophomore Shane Morton and senior Jacob Bertocchi have all qualified for the national event. It’s the 13th year in which Carson has qualified someone for nationals and the five students this year is the largest contingent the school is sending to the event.

Students who finished in the top two at the Northern Nevada District event held at Manogue High School qualified for nationals and other top finishers qualified for nationals as well.

Segura won the Lincoln-Douglas debate event at Manogue to qualify for nationals. The event is patterned after the one of the nation’s most famous and first prominent presidential debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. It’s considered a major contributor to why Lincoln became president and the direction of this country for that matter.

“I just really like the one-on-one aspect of it,” Segura said. “It’s a debate that has you full out there so you need to know what you’re talking about.”

There were three chambers — two for the House of Representatives and one for the U.S. Senate — in which about a total of 90 students competed. Share and Bertocchi competed in each of the chambers of Congress while Figueroa competed in the Senate chambers. The students participate in sessions just like it’s done in Congress.

Share took second in her Congressional chamber to automatically qualify for nationals, Bertocchi took first in the other Congressional chamber and Figueroa placed fourth in the Senate chamber. Since those who finished ahead of Figueroa qualified for nationals in their other primary events, Figueroa is competing at nationals.

Share had a logical reason for becoming involved in speech and debate.

“I want to be a lawyer,” she said. “I think this should really help me achieve that goal.”

Figueroa had a simpler reason for becoming involved.

“Before speech and debate, I wasn’t really doing anything in high school,” he said.

Morton took fourth in humorist interpretation in a field of about 60 students. Since there are students who finished ahead of him who qualified in their other primary events, Morton is competing at nationals as well.

“My friend Jacob talked me into debate my freshman year,” said Morton about Bertocchi. “I thought it was fun.”

All of the events in which the CHS students qualified for nationals are all-day grinds. Segura went 7-1 to win her event, those who competed in the Congressional debates took on several topics and Morton used nine different characters, each one with a different viewpoint and different voice.

Since Bertocchi is the only senior, expectations are obviously high for CHS to continue to be well-represented at nationals in the future. Share said her goal for this year’s nationals is “to just pick up on my experience as a freshman” to prepare for future possible visits to nationals.

Morton said he essentially has the same goal to prepare for another possible visit to nationals next year. About 15 percent of the students at nationals will advance to the quarterfinals. “If I make it to quarterfinals, I’ll be more than happy,” Morton said.

Segura said her goal is to place at nationals.

The cost is $5,500 for each student to attend nationals and the students have a series of fundraisers coming up, including at Saturday’s Nevada Appeal 150th birthday party at the Appeal, 580 Mallory Way. The students will have a booth there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be selling raffle tickets.

The students will be busy Saturday as on Saturday night they will host the first Escape Carson High Zombie Run. Runners will be given football flags and will have to run through zones with zombies trying to take away their flags on the CHS campus. Runners who complete the course with their flags will receive raffle tickets to win prizes.

Tickets to participate cost $10 and the minimum age is 12. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the event. Children who participate need to have their tickets signed by a parent.

From 6-8 p.m. Tuesday the students will host an interactive event where we they will showcase each event they competed in. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.

From 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 the team will host a dinner theater at Sassafras. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance as seating is limited.

From 5-9 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 Bully’s will provide customers who have a ticket 15 percent of their check to the students and a 10 percent off coupon for a future visit.

For more information, contact Patrick Mobley at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment