Victoria Pegues Wins Tournament for Speech & Debate Oral Interpretation Event

November 20, 2020

On November 4th, Victoria Pegues was judged for the program of oral interpretation at Spring high school debate tournament, and won the championship. Pegues swept the tournament, placing first three times.

The event which Pegues participated in, POI, is a program where students select a piece of literature, interpret it and act it out in their own way. This literature is required to be from different categories such as poetry, drama or prose. At least two pieces of literature are required for each participant. After reading a brief part of the literature, the participant introduces the theme and moral of the literature.

“The piece I chose gives my audience insight on how it feels to be black in America. Showcasing both sides of the black lives matter/all lives matter argument, my poem mentions everything that black and white Americans say behind closed doors. This is significant to me, because as a person of color, I want to help other races understand the frustration of experiencing blatant racism and microaggressions, in a setting where they are forced to listen. Ultimately, I would like to see more unity in our society and communities, so performing this speech makes me feel as though I am making a difference,” junior Victoria Pegues says.

Pegues has had multiple accomplishments within the Speech and Debate team in events other than the POI event. She has participated in public speaking since middle school and has had success in doing so. Once she entered high school, she continued her passion of public speaking by joining theater, FFA and eventually joining debate.

“I have had a pretty successful time in Debate. Competing mostly in prose, I have been able to win first place in most of the competitions that we have attended, the most important one being mock UIL, where we prepared for UIL competition (which was cancelled due to COVID). My NSDA points are increasing rapidly this year, and I am now expanding into new events such as POI, but ultimately all of my achievements are preparing me for the biggest competitions of the year, like state competition and UIL,” Pegues says.

UIL being cancelled because of Covid-19 isn’t the only hardship Speech & Debate has had to face this school year. The debate team has had several challenges and drawbacks hit them because of the pandemic, but they are still going strong and continue participating in events by making the appropriate adjustments.

“This year is much different than the previous years, because all of our tournaments are online. We submit competition videos and compete through zoom rather than being in real rooms with our judges. While some may think that it makes it easier to prepare and present the best video, it also takes away the social aspect of debating and hanging out with the team,” Pegues says.

The social aspect of attending tournaments and events actually plays a big role for the Speech and Debate team. Socializing is what brings the team together and motivates each other to do their very best in each event. However, even without having the support of her teammates in person, Pegues still manages to perform her best and gain the impressive accomplishments that she has.

“The biggest limitation would be not having my wonderful team by my side physically, and not being able to see other performances during asynchronous tournaments. I miss laughing with varsity Debate, giving each other pep talks before competing, and visiting each other’s competition rooms for support. Not to mention that seeing good competition makes you want to perform better, and now we can’t see each other’s competition videos,” Pegues says.

This year has been a challenge for all extracurricular clubs, activities, creative arts, sports, etc. at Cy Ranch. Despite the unique circumstances that Covid-19 has put the school in, students still strive for excellence and bring remarkable accomplishments back with them from events, which can be seen by Pegues’ achievements. The POI event is an especially significant event that allows for Pegues to showcase her passion of acting and public speech.

“My love for interpretation events comes from my background in theatre. I began acting when I was just a little girl, and debate gives me the opportunity to continue. I have always appreciated the art of portraying someone other than myself and telling a story with my voice and body,” Pegues says.