Cannibals Win PIL District Title


Clarion photo Dylan Chappell

Debaters Nate Adamski and William Bransford standing outside Cleveland High School. The pair won the state title in Dual Interpretation.

Under the guidance of Patrick “Gonzo” Gonzales, the Cleveland Cannibals have become district speech and debate champions, the 13th time in 14 years since the program was established.

Cleveland set a school record by sending one entry to state under each 17 speech and debate events. This feat has only been accomplished once before in school history: back in 2014.

The state competition, in which the Cannibals are expected to contend for the title, will be held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, on April 28-29.

Cleveland finished the district event with a total of 273 points, followed by Lincoln with 75 and Roosevelt with 34.

According to Gonzales, a large number of students stood out during the tournament. “We have pretty much two different stories. One is we have dominating performances that constantly make it, like the boys in duo, William (Adamski) and Nate (Bransford). So sure enough, they picket fence, five judges, five first places, no doubt.”

The Clarion asked Adamski and Bransford about their experiences making it to state.

Clarion: So I understand that you guys have both made it to state for your performances. What type of event do you guys do and if you can give a brief description.

Adamski: We do duo interpretation. It’s two performers that can’t look at each other, they can’t touch and they put on this little skit for you. So we have a very humorous skit that lasts 10 minutes. It’s about dragons and detectives.

Clarion: Perfect. What does making it to state entail?

Bransford: At the end of April, we get to go down to Western Oregon and compete. There should be a few other really good duo interp teams that we’ll meet there. We can handle them easily. We already destroyed them when we went to the University of Oregon tournament, we already destroyed districts, and so we feel confident. Nate and I are veterans. We went into state last year and got third place with a pretty rough skit. In retrospect, it was good, we needed to learn what some judges didn’t like. It’s gonna be a good competition this year, though, we just have to make sure to go all out.

Gonzales continued, “Along with people like Nathan (Ward-Goldberg), like he finals in every tournament, he never finishes lower than third. Sure enough, he tied for district champion. We’ve got Stella (Greenvoss); she dominates whatever she does, essentially. And that’s all three events. The people that normally win, won.

“Then we had some unexpected things happen. Such as Theo Donhowe. He’s district champion for extemporaneous speaking. And that was the second biggest tournament with 12 speakers, which was pretty impressive.

“In radio, Vivian Klinke finished first and that’s from a huge pool of people. She was the last kid I put in, I had 40 entries I could get. I can send 41. And she was the last decision I made. She practiced, then she made a few changes. And sure enough, won the whole damn thing. So we asked the question like, whose result was the most surprising? It’s Vivian Klinke for sure,” Gonzales said.

The Clarion reached out to Klinke about her exceptional performance qualifying her for state.

Clarion: Congratulations on reaching the state level for your event, could you tell us a little more about what you do?

Klinke: I do radio commentary, which is a timed event. It’s about five minutes long. And you provide analysis on a current news story.

Clarion: How have your previous events gone this year?

Klinke: Radio this year has been fun, it’s been interesting hearing everyone’s different stories and topics. My results have been skewed so far. I’ve won some tournaments and not even placed in others. So winning districts was pretty exciting, because I had no idea how my results would be.

According to Gonzales, the team will continue to prepare for the upcoming state competition. This remarkable achievement demonstrates hard work, dedication, and talent. Making it to state is a testament to the team’s resilience, determination, and teamwork.