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Grizzlies fare well at national speech and debate tourney

Recent Ashland High graduate Gracia Dodds advanced to the 11th round in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and finished in the top 30 overall to lead the school's speech and debate team at the National Tournament, June 18-23 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Also for the Grizzlies, incoming senior Alex Webb placed in the top 70 out of 900 in Extemporaneous Debate, and recent graduate John Ropp was honored for qualifying for Nationals all four years, the only student from Oregon to achieve the milestone.

Dodds debated, "Resolved: A just government ought to prioritize civil liberties over national security," aruging that climate change is a national security issue. She won 10 of 12 ballots in preliminary rounds and prevailed in three elimination rounds. 

Dodds will attend the University of Oregon's Clark Honors College on a debate scholarship and will continue to work with the Grizzlies as a mentor.

Webb joined all the Oregon debaters and several coaches to collaborate on topics that included the Paris Climate Accord, immigration reform and ending the senate filibuster. A member of the Grizzlies' student leadership board, Webb is coordinating the team's September trip to Yale to compete in Parliamentary Debate.

The Ashland High Speech and Debate team is coached by Mat Marr and Eugene Mandell.