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The Harlingen High School South Speech, Drama and Debate team took home the overall top spot at the Texas Forensic Association Qualifying Tournament in Sugar Land, Texas, earlier this month.

In helping her team earn the competition’s top prize, Angel Yanez, a senior at HHSS, earned the TFA tournament’s overall top performer spot.

“We had a very good showing for our first tournament,” said Leah Ann Ince, SDD team coach at HHSS. “There is always room for improvement and our students know that too. With this tournament behind them, they will continue to work harder to meet the high standards we’ve set for this program.”

Thirty-two high schools from across the state were present at the competition. A total of 14 students participated in the competition from HHSS, with 11 placing in the top 10 of their category.

“We beat out squads that had 30 or 40 students competing,” said Luana Chaires, HHSS senior. “That says something about our dedication to this program.”

The team has no plan on taking it easy after earning the top award, Ince said. They are continuing to practice up to five days a week to prepare for their next tournament on Oct. 6 in Bishop, Texas.

“For our next tournament, we definitely want to see an improvement in their performance, “ Ince said. “We want their ballots to reflect what they were told to build on.”

The upcoming tournament is only one stop on their ultimate aspiration to qualify for the state competition, Chaires said.

“Its always the ultimate goal to qualify for state,” Ince said. “Not only for one event but for multiple events.”

The state tournament will take place in March in Grand Prairie, Texas.

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