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Pflugerville HS wins state speech & debate championship

May 28, 2021

Pflugerville High School will have a new state championship trophy on display in its case after the Panthers Speech & Debate team claimed first place at the UIL State Speech & Debate Meet this week. 

The Panthers combined to score 43.5 points for a commanding overall victory, with runner-up Medina Valley scoring only 37 points. This marks the first time in school history that PHS has won state in Speech & Debate. The Panthers finished 7th in 2015 and 12th in 2014.

PHS was led by senior Coltrane Drexler, who has place highly at state competitions throughout his time at PHS. Drexler finished second in Persuasive Speaking and also took bronze in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

Joseph Garza also placed in two categories, taking fourth in Informative Speaking and fifth in Congressional Debate. Audrey Higley finished sixth in Prose Interpretation to contribute to the team’s title.

The Panthers Speech & Debate team is coached by English teacher Ron Hester.

This year’s state championship event was moved to a virtual setting over two days. The competitions for each round was held live, utilizing video conferencing software. Coaches and students were provided materials and instructions for their respective categories ahead of time in order to prepare for the competition. After all the events were completed on Wednesday, a virtual awards ceremony concluded the state meet, in which PHS was named the overall team champion.