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SSFHS Speech Team Shines in State Tournament

The South San Francisco High School speech team's performance in the state championship was "a truly amazing feat for our small team," according to coach Robert Hawkins.

If you lack the gift of gab, you just might want to seek some pointers from a local high school student.

South San Francisco High School finished among the top 20 teams at the California High School Speech Association state tournament at San Francisco's Lowell High School last weekend. That's out of 150 schools that competed, according to coach Robert Hawkins.

"It was an amazing tournament," Hawkins said in an email. "Our students did extremely well."

About a thousand students competed in 12 speaking events and four forms of debate and student congress in the championship, Hawkins said. Hawkins brought eight South San Francisco High School students who qualified to the tournament, and four reached the semi-final round. One student, Zachary Herrera, reached the final round in the Thematic Interpretation category, Hawkins said.

Herrera, 18, , to be held in June in Indianapolis.

Overall, South San Francisco High School finished 19th out of 150 schools. Their final standings are below:

  • Zachary Herrera - 2nd in the state in Thematic Interpretation
  • Darlene Ollada - 9th in the state in Original Prose Poetry
  • Jamil Khoury - 10th in the state in Oratorical Interpretation
  • Gretta Georgiyev - 14th in the state in Original Prose Poetry

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