Members of the Ketchikan High School drama, debate and forensics team

Members of the Ketchikan High School drama, debate and forensics team stand for a recent picture at Metlakatla High School. From left to right in the back row, Jack Zink, Carlo Cadiente, Eddie Gomez, Bella Kershaw, Divisha Jagtiani, Morgan Davis and Emery Mattson. In the front row, Ila Smith, Madisen Lundamo, Braxton Zink, Liam Urquhart, Elliane Graves and Chloe Gosnell. Team members not pictured are Ethan Kershaw, Jocelyn Cannon, Lauren Olson, Peter Satya and Kamyrn Craig. Photo courtesy of David Mitchel

Ketchikan High School's drama, debate and forensics team — this year made up of both fresh faces and long-time members — is set to travel to Skagway for an in-person DDF meet scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

"Skagway does a great job of hosting and it feels like the entire community comes out to judge and help out," Kayhi teacher and DDF coach David Mitchel wrote to the Daily News on Tuesday morning.

The team's roster includes 18 students, although COVID-19 and other conflicting activities could change that, according to Mitchel.

"This is a really outstanding group of students with a full range of experience and talents, so I'm really looking forward to watching them compete this weekend and to improve throughout the season," Mitchel wrote.

The roster includes freshman team members Divisha Jagtiani, Ellianne Greaves and Ethan Kershaw; sophomore Emery Mattson; juniors Kamryn Craig, Madisen Lundamo, Jack Zink, Liam Urquhart and Carlo Cadiente; and seniors Jocelyn Cannon, Bella Kershaw, Lauren Olson, Eddie Gomez, Braxton Zink, Morgan Davis and Peter Satya.

Mitchel noted that Lauren Olson will not travel with the team to Skagway due to the Kayhi swim team's calendar.

He also noted that the team's captains are Braxton Zink, Bella Kershaw and Kamryn Craig — all students who have been DDF team members the majority of their years at Kayhi. He expects those students to not only compete well at the meet, but help out the more inexperienced team members — for some of the students on the team, this weekend's event in Skagway will be their first meet.

"But other schools are in the same position, so I expect some of our teams to be competitive in debate," Mitchel continued. "And we have some excellent speeches and drama pieces that could final as well. But mostly I'm looking for students to really improve and gain valuable experience this weekend."

The freshmen team members have "great attitude and are quickly gaining skills to be competitive by the end of the year," according to Mitchel.

In preparation for the portions of meet focusing on debate skills, Kayhi's team has spent time in Zoom meetings asking questions of local politicians, industry representatives and advocacy groups, which Mitchel noted also is a good learning experience for the team.

Mitchel noted that the theme of the debate portion of the event in Skagway is regarding tourism.