Ohio County Students Win Forensics Contest Honors

More than 100 Ohio County middle school students took part this week in the annual middle school forensics program.

Students from Triadelphia, Wheeling, Warwood and Bridge Street middle schools competed in five categories: Prose, Poetry, Declamation, Duo and Debate.

Wheeling Park High School hosted the event, and Park speech team members served as judges.

“I’ve been running the competition for about nine years and I think it’s a terrific activity for the middle school students, because it achieves the basic goal of improving their communication skills, particularly in front of a group,” said William Cornforth, head of speech and drama at the high school. “At a young age that is a very good education accomplishment. They also get to meet kids from the other middle schools, and they get to interact with the Wheeling Park kids who are really their teachers, as well.”

Triadelphia Middle School ruled the event, taking first-place honors in four of the five categories. Forensics coach Lara Parsons praised her students for their hard work.

“… Some would even come in early before school to get pointers and practice. They’re a really good group of kids,” she said.

Triadelphia Middle student Sarah Ihlenfeld, the daughter of U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II, thanked her father for his assistance.

“I was excited to get first place” in the Declamation category, Ihlenfeld, a seventh-grader, said. “My dad really helped me with practicing the speech, because he did speech at Wheeling Park, so he gave me a lot of good pointers.”

Triadelphia’s winners were:

– Poetry – Jordan Shanley

– Declamation – Sarah Ihlenfeld

– Duo – Emma Blair and Betsy Brossman

– Debate – Caroline Humphrey and Josie Daugherty

Taking first place in the Prose category was Allee McCardle of Wheeling Middle School.