GFHS Speech and Debate Continue to Win Competitions

From+top+left%2C+clockwise%2C+Mercedes+Barriga%2C+Michael+Martinez%2C+Emily+Lai%2C+and+Ariel+Bernabe%2C+receive+pizza+after+their+victory+win+against+Segerstrom+High+School.+

Photo Courtesy of Quiz Bowl

From top left, clockwise, Mercedes Barriga, Michael Martinez, Emily Lai, and Ariel Bernabe, receive pizza after their victory win against Segerstrom High School.

Anthony Rendon, Staff Writer

Although Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS) and most schools in the state have had a rough year with this pandemic, Godinez Speech and Debate team continue to compete and win at the local and state competitions. The team tied for second place in the Orange County Speech League Championships. This takes the team to state.

Four out of 20 competitors are headed to state to compete for national qualifiers March 19-21 and will compete for state April 23-25. The students who are competing at state are: David Gonzalez, Adrian Gomez, Nina Nguyen, and Miguel Carretero.

Nguyen has struggled with tech issues due to everything being online and wakes up at 6 a.m. to prepare for speeches. Sometimes competitions last till 7 p.m. 

“My teammates and I have been practicing hard for state qualifiers and all sorts of tournaments whenever we have speech class,” said Nguyen.

But, she is happy that she qualified for state.

“Even though online speech is difficult, it has been a great passion of mine, so giving it up because of its new format would be painful. What keeps me motivated is that I am still able to participate,” added Nguyen.

She continued, “I want to take any opportunity that I am given.” 

Not only have our Grizzlies competed in Speech and Debate competitions but GFHS also has a Quiz Bowl team who are champions. 

The team is made up of five Godinez students: Mercedes Barriga, Daniel Sevilla, Michael Martinez, Ariel Bernabe, and Emily Lai, who is the team president. This was a district online competition that took place before in February and March. 

Barriga had doubts when it came to the match against Segerstrom High School. 

“As a team, we’re always trying to improve and learn new things. Many of our players spend lots of time studying topics like geography, pop culture, and history in order to be prepared for the possible questions during a match,” said Barriga.

Our victory, really, was the fruit of all our team’s efforts,” added Barriga.

In past years, GFHS has defeated every team in the district except Segerstrom, however, that was not the case this time. It was a rocky start for the Grizzlies, but they did not give up.

The Grizzlies were down 110-0 at the start of their competition, but they came back hard with the winning score of 415-370.

Since Segerstrom had defeated our Grizzlies in the past, the Quiz Bowl coaches told the team if they defeated Segerstrom, they were going to be rewarded with pizza deliveries at their homes. 

The coaches did not disappoint and kept their promise delivering pizzas all over Santa Ana to the four Quiz Bowl winners. 

Next up, is the national competition for Speech and Debate during the week of April 23-25.