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By DANELLE LANDIS
Daily News Staff Writer
Ketchikan High School senior Drake Goodson dominated the regional Drama, Debate and Forensics home meet this past weekend, losing only one speaker point of 180 possible in six rounds of judging.
"He obviously portrayed himself as a very effective speaker," Kayhi DDF coach Dan Ortiz said.
More than 100 students traveled to Ketchikan for the event from Southeast Alaska schools, according to Kayhi Activities Director Ed Klein.
This is Goodson’s first year on Kayhi’s team. He said he’d wanted to join every year, but his schedule — packed with Advanced Placement classes — always had been too full.
Goodson and his debate partner, Emma Scott, won first place in debate at the meet, edging out Juneau-Douglas High School’s team of Leo Steedle and Ruby Steedle.
Goodson and Scott waited for the final round to start late Saturday afternoon, seated around a table with teammates in the Kayhi commons.
Goodson wore the broad smile he is known for as he shared his strategy.
"Be cool; try not to think about it," he said.
"Drake’s the cool one, and I am the excited one," Scott said. She had jumped up and down and hugged friends and family members when she learned she was going into finals with Goodson.
The resolution argued at the meet was: "On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States."
Goodson and Scott argued the negative side of the debate in the final round.
As in other rounds at the two-day event, the students emphasized military, economic and human-rights issues.
Goodson asserted at one point that China’s relationship to the U.S. is parasitic rather than mutualistic, with China feeding off of United States strength.
He cited unfair trade practices, civil injustice, and China’s pressure on Japan and Taiwan as examples.
Leo Steedle said China could "only improve, as it has in the past," adding that the East and the West have built a relationship that will stabilize the potential negative aspects of China’s growth.
"China is a check upon the U.S., and the U.S. is a check on China," Steedle said.
Scott emphasized China’s unfair economic practices, arguing that they damage a healthy capitalistic exchange of goods between the U.S. and China. She also pointed out that China seems to want to surpass all other countries, not only to be strong among equals.
Competitors debate each side of the argument multiple times during each meet.
Scott, on Friday, waiting with Goodson to start one of their debate rounds, said she had been enjoying the event.
"I feel much more relaxed, it being the home meet," she said.
Kayhi students also competed in speech, and one, in drama.
Senior Brittni Tully-Dapcevich won third-place for her dramatic interpretation performance.
Scott placed third with an extemporaneous commentary speech.
Kayhi senior Charlie Klein earned 171 speaker points, garnering him the second-place spot for points, behind Goodson, and a 5-1 debate record with his partner, senior Wilbur Fisher. He also placed second in extemporaneous commentary speeches.
Kayhi debate partners, junior Evan Wick and senior Austin Otos, also earned a 5-1 debate record.
Senior Marco Torres earned first-place awards for an expository and oratory speech and third place for an extemporaneous speech.
Goodson topped off his meet performances with a first-place extemporaneous speech.
He said he really had been enjoying his time as a DDF team member.
"It’s all it’s hyped up to be," he said.