Forensics showcase season sizzling out

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Entertainment Editor Jason Wisenbaker

On April 16 the Bellevue West Forensics team put on their annual, season-ending, showcase for students at Bellevue West.

“The Forensics showcase is simply our students performing their best pieces for supporters within the school,” Communicative Arts and English teacher Becca Hier said. “Whereas a competition is any student of ours who is on the team who wants to compete can go, and we compete against anywhere from 20 to 30 schools at a time.”

Each season begins with an open house at the beginning of the year and culminates in a showcase to mark the end of the regular competition season.

“The open house at the beginning of the year is the first time that students can perform for someone outside of the classroom. At that point, we’re just trying to get everything memorized and get ready for our first tournament. That is our kickoff,” Hier said. “In our showcase we take our best work that we’ve spent the last nine months working on [and perform it].

Sophomore Kayla Starbuck has been on the Forensics team for the last two years and judged at the showcase.

“It was fun, but really long,” Starbuck said. “A showcase is just for fun, it’s not something every school does. There’s a special section for seniors where we present them with awards and talk about what they meant to the team.”

Hier said that the seniors really took over the preparation for the showcase this year.

“This year, the seniors took control of the showcase and organized the whole thing. They set up the order, they put MCs together, [and] they put a video together to act as transition between the performances. It was really quite a wonderful experience,” Hier said.

At the end of the students four years on the team they receive a NFL award from Hier for their participation in Forensics over their high school career.

“At the end of their four years on the team what I do is I frame those [the awards] and I talk a little a bit about each one of the seniors at the showcase,” Hier said. “Then I give them that award from me.”

The team decided to give a gift to each senior that was unique to them and talked about what they meant to the team at the showcase.

Starbuck said that the showcase shows how the team has progressed over the course of the year.

Hier is impressed with how the team has improved and performed this year.

“This was, by far, our most successful year yet. We had more students in finals than we’ve ever had in the last three years. We’ve also had regular season champions throughout the course of the year,” Hier said.

Bellevue West had three students qualify for Nationals which are held in San Francisco in May. Two seniors qualified, but since Nationals is held over graduation weekend only sophomore Courtney Hansen will compete at Nationals.

“I’ve seen the most growth from my novices in my intro class and I saw more growth from my Varsity members over the course of the last year than I’ve seen over the last three,” Hier said.

Hier hopes the team will continue to grow and improve based on their results from this year.

“I hope that the team continues to grow in size and we come in with a great new crop of freshmen, who are willing to take risks in performance and pour their heart and soul into what they do, because that’s what made us so strong this year,” Hier said. “They have set themselves up to be highly successful and I want that to happen.”