Illinois Forensics



League Information

An affiliate of the National Federation of State High School associations, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) was formed on December 27, 1900. The IHSA is the second oldest of the 52 state sports and activities associations. Originally started simply to set the standards for sport competition eligibility and for ensuring school control over interscholastic programs, the IHSA has grown to be a sponsor of sporting events and helps to organize all member high schools for state tournaments. 1940 was the year when the IHSA added non-athletic activities into the organization, thus speech and debate became state operated events. The IHSA allows for both public and private schools to become members (although private schools are forced to undergo a 1.65 enrollment multiplier, a current controversy to the IHSA). The IHSA now has 777 high schools in its membership. Interesting fact: the IHSA coined the term March Madness back in 1939, never trademarked it, got into a court battle with the NCAA when they discovered the phrase and decided to utilize it, and now both the NCAA and IHSA use the term for their own purposes as sanctioned by court order. Although, the IHSA has coined the term “America’s Original March Madness” in an effort to prove who originated the popular phrase.

Key Officers 

President: Jim Woodward

Vice President: Ron Conner

Executive Director: Marty Hickman

Assistant Executive Director: Sue Hinrichsen

Assistant Executive Director: Dave Gunnaway

Events Offered 

Congressional Debate, LD Debate, Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, Dramatic Duet Acting, Dramatic Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Humorous Duet Acting, Humorous Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking, Oratorical Declamation, Original Comedy, Original Oratory, Poetry Reading, Prose Reading, Radio Speaking, Special Occasion Speaking,

2009 Finalists 

Congressional Debate

State Champion: Joe Mahoney of Niles (Notre Dame)

Runner-up: Lauren Linzmeier of Wheeling

All-State Team

Captain: Lauren Linzmeier of Wheeling

Matthew Helminski of Arlington Heights (Hersey), Patrick McCarty of LaGrange (Lyons), Prathryum Ramesh of Rolling Meadows, Ari Ruffer of Highland Park, Chris Schwartz of Wheeling, Sanjit Shah of Wheeling, Thomas Tasche of Elk Grove Village (E.G.), Jon Tracey of Wheeling, Rachel Zolno of Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

State Champion: Pat Donovan of Northbrook (Glenbrook North)

Runner-up: Andrew Chesley of Winnetka (New Trier)

All-State Team

Caption: David Lilien of Barrington

Chris Conway of Winnetka (New Trier), Pat Donovan of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), Max Looper of Evanston (Twp.), Matt McCambridge of Winnetka (New Trier), Ian Reynolds of Belleville (East), Sarah Robinson of Joliet (Twp.), Alex Rosenfeld of Barrington, Derek Spencer of Orland Park (Sandburg), Arezoo Talaefard of Northbrook (Glenbrook North) 

Public Forum Debate

State Champion: Zach Collins and Joey Glickman of Winnetka (New Trier)

Runners-up: Angelo Cavoto and Allison Von Borstel of Orland Park (Sandburg)

All-State Team

Captain: Joey Glickman of Winnetka (New Trier)

Angelo Cavoto of Orland Park (Sandburg), Zach Collins of Winnetka (New Trier), Joe Eichenbaum of Winnetka (New Trier), Ben Gordon of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), Omar Jamil of Libertyville, Rachel McGivern of Wheaton (North), Mat Myles of Belleville (East), Setu Patel of Wheaton (North), Daniel Sullivan of Wilmette (Loyola Academy)

Policy Debate

State Champions: Ross Gordon and Ira Slomski-Pritz of Winnetka (New Trier)

Runners-up: Misael Gonzalez and Kevin Hern of Chicago (Whitney Young)

All-State Team

Dylan Carpenter of Winnetka (New Trier), Richard Day of Glenview (Glenbrook South), Ross Gordon of Winnetka (New Trier), Flynn Makuch of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), Alex Pappas of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), Colin Quinn of Glenview (Glenbrook South), Victor Shao of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), Alexis Shklar of Northbrook (Glenbrook North), William Thibeau of Glenview (Glenbrook South), John Zhao of Glenview (Glenbrook South)

Speech Team Sweepstakes

1. Downers Grove South

2. Warren Township

Tie for 3. Charleston and Wheaton North

5. Downers Grove North

Tie for 6. Glenbard West and Thornridge

Three-way Tie for 8. Waubonsie Valley, Wheaton Warrenville South, and Belleville West

Dramatic Duet Acting

1. Blake Morris (Sr.) and Darnell Tyms (Sr.) Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Thornridge)

2. Jonathan Sokolow (Sr.) and Trey Caldwell (Sr.) "The Normal Heart" (Warren Township)

3. Cody Follis (Sr.) and Kaylyn Engelhardt (Sr.) "The Birthday Wish" (Lincoln)

4. Frank Austin (Sr.) and Hana Bajramovic (Sr.) "The Glass Room" (New Trier)

5. Kenton Wyckoff (Sr.) and Patrick Connaghan (Sr.) "Assassins" (Elk Grove)

6. Alex Hendzel (Sr.) and Joey Kim (So.) "Prelude to Thirty-Five" (Neuqua Valley)

Dramatic Interpretation

1. Trey Caldwell (Sr.) "Widows and Children First" (Warren Townshi)

2. Tierra Novy (Sr.) "The Goldfish Went On Vacation" (Wheaton North)

3. Jenni McCarthy (Sr.) "The Year of Magical Thinking" (Downers Grove South)

4. Taylor Adams (Sr.) "The Domino Heart" (Charleston)

5. Sinnard Scott (Sr.) "Life is Good" (Thornwood)

6. Bekka Foust (Sr.) "The Body of a Woman" (Pearl City)

Extemporaneous Speaking

1. Jessica Petrie (Sr.) (Belleville West)

2. Stephen Whitfield (Jr.) (Fremd)

3. Adam Kase (Sr.) (Downers Grove South)

4. Michael Lopesciolo (Sr.) (Glenbard West)

5. Colin Roberts (Sr.) (Charleston)

6. Sarah Czufin (Sr.) (Neuqua Valley)

Humorous Duet Acting

1. Kevin Quatman (Sr.) and Patrick Connaghan (Sr.) "Louis and Dave" (Elk Grove)

2. Arvin Hosseini (Jr.) and Ivy Ford (So.) "The Right Time" (Warren Township)

3. Chris Skurka (Sr.) and Jonathan Williamsen (Jr.) "Saving the Greeks: One Tragedy at a Time" (Marian)

4. Haley Armstrong (Sr.) and Trent Eisfeller (Sr.) "One Tennis Shoe" (Byron)

5. Eric Baker (Jr.) and Grace Carey (So.) "A Tiny Miracle with a Fiberoptic Unicorn" (Glenbard West)

6. Nora Carroll (Jr.) and Shannon Ingram (Sr.) "The Stepford Guy" (Thornton)

Finalist: Jordan Johnson (Sr.) and Matt Sobule (Sr.) "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" (Belleville East)

Finalist: Chris Harris (Sr.) and Ernest Bell (Sr.) "Basic Training" (Bolingbrook)

Humorous Interpretation

1. Jonathan Sokolow (Sr.) "The Foreigner" (Warren Township)

2. Ally Schweisthal (Sr.) "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge" (Waubonsie Valley)

3. Darius Leaks (Jr.) "How To Survive a Horror Film" (Thornwood)

4. Amy Ramelli (Jr.) "McSweeny's Joke Book of Book Jokes" (Shepard)

5. Travis Trew (Sr.) "The Frog Prince Continued" (Downers Grove North)

6. Jordan Johnson (Sr.) "Disney's Aladdin (Disney Classic Series)" (Belleville East)

Impromptu Speaking

1. John Marsaglia (Sr.) (Coal City)

2. Chelsey Rice-Davis (Sr.) (Downers Grove South)

3. Tim Zachas (Sr.) (Schaumburg H.S.)

4.  Michael Lopesciolo (Sr.) (Glenbard West)

5. Omar Jamil (Sr.) (Libertyville)

6. Elizabeth McKay (Jr.) (Downers Grove North)

Finalist: Brian Greco (Sr.) Richards (Oak Lawn)

Finalist: Luis Alcantara (So.) (Oswego East)

Oratorical Declamation

1. Blake Morris (Sr.) "Ready To Live" (Thornridge)

2. Chris Quinn (Sr.) "Odditude" (Wheaton Warrenville South)

3. Taylor Adams (Sr.) "The Power of Four" (Charleston)

4. Patrick Lawrie (Sr.) "A Matter of Perspective" (Glenbrook South)

5. Jacoby Cochran (Sr.) "Address at the NAACP on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education" (Rich Central)

6. Evelyn Smith (Jr.) "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination (Prospect)

Original Comedy

1. Zeyne Guzeldereli (Jr.) "The AP Crusade" (Riverside-Brookfield)

2. Travis Trew (Sr.) "Corporate Goals, Napkin Souls, Stripper Poles, & Sparkle Barf" (Downers Grove North)

3. Jack Kehoe (Sr.) "The No-Family Guy" (Wheaton North)

4. Greer Burke-Anderson (Sr.) "Que Es En Un Nombre? (what'S In A Name?)" (Rock Island H.S.)

5. Trent Eisfeller (Sr.) "The Adventures of Danny the Drill" (Byron)

6. Kevin Quatman (Sr.) "The Man Pageant" (Elk Grove)

Finalist: Jim Kane (Jr.) "Unfiltered" (Marist)

Original Oratory

1. Jasmine Lockett (Sr.) "Before We Go Global Let's Get Fiscal" (Shepard)

2. Chelsey Rice-Davis (Sr.) "It's All Good?" (Downers Grove South)

3. Annie Houghton-Larsen (Jr.) "Absolute Value" (Glenbard West)

4. Jessica Petrie (Sr.) "Happily Ever After, Without Prince Charming" (Belleville West)

5. Reiana Mahan (Jr.) "Center of the You-niverse" (Harrisburg)

6. Sid Sapru (Jr.) "All it Takes...Is Thirty Seconds" (Illinois Math and Science Academy)

Poetry Reading

1. Kevin Giffin (Sr.) "Heartbeat" (Charleston)

2. Michelle Bower (Sr.) "Perfection" (Rock Island H.S.)

3. Jenni McCarthy (Sr.) "Love Me, Love Me Not" (Downer's Grove South)

4. Johari Mackey (So.) "My Mother Learns English" (Thornwood)

5. Adam Meirink (Jr.) "I Am a Wussy Boy" (Belleville West)

6. Ariana Barreto "First Period & It's a Teenage Thang" (Riverside-Brookfield)

Prose Reading

1. Lauren Campbell (Jr.) "Driving with Dead People" (Waubonsie Valley)

2. Bob Beland (Sr.) "How I Trumped Rudolf Steiner..." (Oak Lawn)

Anna Binstein (Sr.) "An Hour to Live, an Hour to Love" (Glenbrook South)

4. Tess Mody (Sr.) "Picnic at Treblinka" (Downers Grove South)

5. Frank Austin (Sr.) "A November Farewell" (New Trier)

6. Mike Duffy (Sr.) "Alumni Interview" (Downers Grove North)

Finalist: La'Mar Hawkins (Jr.) "Not A Geniune Black Man" (Thornton)

Radio Speaking

1. Shaina Cavazos (Sr.) (Schaumburg H.S.)

2. Imman Musa (Sr.) (Belleville East)

3. Mike Duffy (Sr.) (Downers Grove North)

4. Claire Ford (Sr.) (Oak Lawn)

5. Iman Rahim (Sr.) (Neuqua Valley)

6. Brianne Paver (Sr.) (Wheaton Warrenville South)

Special Occasion Speaking

1. Tierra Novy (Sr.) "Appeasing The Pleasing" (Wheaton North)

2. Jake Benassi (Sr.) "The Teenage Blues" (Wheaton Warrenville South)

3. Tess Mody (Sr.) "A Bat in the Cave" (Downers Grove South)

4. Jourdin Batchelor (Sr.) "Chivalry is Dead, But You're Still Kind Of Cute" (Carbondale)

5. Cecil Blutcher (Sr.) "Keepin' it Real" (Rich Central)

6. Todd Schumacher (Sr.) "Relay on Yourself" (Lincoln)