Wheeling Park High School Speech and Debate program is having a huge celebration to relive their 40 years of consecutive State Championships.
“As far as we know no other school in the country has a record like this,” said former speech coach Frances Schoolcraft. “Wheeling Park should be extremely proud of the Speech and debate team.”
So proud that in just over a week they are holding “A Remarkable Reunion” to include people from all 40 years . It will be a way for the past members to talk to current members about how far the program has come and the traditions that have been passed down.
“That’s pretty crazy to think about that small little Wheeling has this speech and debate team of all things that has the most consecutive state championships, and that’s pretty crazy,” said Senior Faith Richter. “I think it is just so humbling to be a part of that and to know that every year you have to come back in and get the next one.”
The tradition of winning state championships isn’t just something that runs through the veins of team members, it’s a family affair as well.
Many students involved now have parents who have contributed to this unbelievable title run.
“For me, it’s extra special because my mom was actually a member of this legacy,” explained Senior Vance Mazure. “I believe the third, fourth and fifth years, so now it’s kind of like a double legacy for us. It’s kind of cool.”
“I’m proud of his work ethic, his determination, his leadership,” said Brigitte Mazure of her son. “He loves his team, and really shows and they are like a family and it’s wonderful to see.”
The team is already practicing for next year to hopefully keep the streak going for the 41st consecutive year.
As for the upcoming reunion, members past and present say they can’t wait.
“The pride that it has instilled in all of us and the way it has connected all 40 teams is really just amazing,” said Allison O’Konski. “There’s just this unique bond and we can celebrate each team no natter how long it’s been since we’ve been a part of it. It’s still feels like it’s our team and our celebration.”
“The first group would be about 58 years old, and as you know we have multi-generational members now,” added Head Speech and Debate Coach Bill Cornforth. “To see these folks will be just a wonderful experience, just great.”
This once in a life-time celebration is being held on April 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Wheeling Park High School.
The doors open at 5:45.
Alumni and current team members are welcomed to attend.
There will be a dinner catered by Ye Olde Alpha, performances, and an open mic session.
Tickets are available for pick up at Wheeling Park High School or the Board of Education.
You can also purchase them online at wphswv.booktix.com.
They also have a Facebook page called A Remarkable Reunion: 40 Years of Speech & Debate Excellence.