Bishop Kelley Students Prepare for National Competitions

Bishop Kelley's Academic Bowl team and members of the Speech and Debate team are heading to national competitions this summer. 

The Academic Bowl team will head to New Orleans for the national tournament over Memorial Day weekend. "Competition at Nationals is always intense," said coach Medea Bendel, "but this year's team is well-rounded and no matter what the outcome, we will relish every moment together. I have been truly blessed by amazing young men and women throughout my career as the Bishop Kelley Academic Bowl coach." If they win the New Orleans leg of the competition, they will advance to the final rounds in Orlando, Florida on June 15-17. The Bishop Kelley Academic Bowl team has won the state championship for the last five consecutive years. This year, Angela Brown and Turner Snapp were selected for the All-State competition, where their team took 1st. The Academic Bowl team's biggest national success was in 2015, where they placed 3rd.

Through the National Speech and Debate Association, seven students qualified for the National Tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on June 16-23. The students include senior Quinton Hoagland (Dramatic Interpretation); Juniors Zack Lissau, Shelby Flahive and Ava Olmedo (World Schools Debate); Sophomore Lauren Rocco (Student Congress); and Freshmen Noah Coffman and Abby Morey (Public Forum Debate). "We as coaches are so proud of this young and diverse team!" said debate coach Erin Clark. "We haven't had a group this big in about six years." "We have the best coaches," said Zack Lissau. Ava Olmedo's main focus outside of school work this year has been debate. "It creates a path for success for all students involved." Shelby Flahive says this has been her best debate year yet. "My hope for nationals is that I can grow my speaking skills. I know it will be a great opportunity to learn how to better express myself."