Forensics freshman advances to states


Kimberly Bedinger

Freshman Eleanor Strader competes at both super regionals and states. Pictured here is at Dominion High School in Northern Virginia, March 25, 2023.

Freshman Eleanor Strader brings home a first-place regional medal for the forensics team and hopes to snag states.

“I’m doing a humorous interpretation piece in which I’m acting as a girl learning to drive with an intense mother,” said Eleanor.

One of the piece requirements for the contestants is to have emotion and movement.

“I have to find movements that curate that kind of performance within the guidelines provided. I try to find movements that really embellish the characters,” said Eleanor. 

For the competition, it takes memorization, practice and dedication.

“The best way for me to practice is to repeat my monologue over and over again, but if I make a mistake, I start over,” said Eleanor.

Contestants have the opportunity to get advice to fix mistakes in their performance pieces.

“You can’t say this with most categories in forensics, but most of my competition has been very friendly and willing to give critiques if asked. It’s such a safe, friendly environment that it doesn’t really feel like competing,” said Eleanor. 

Although performances are fun, they can also be stressful; however, this stress can be beneficial. 

Eleanor placed second at the super regionals and will advance to the state tournament on March 25, 2023, at Dominion High School in Northern Virginia.

“We meet once or twice a week and prepare for tournaments by giving feedback as they perform,” said English teacher and forensics coach Kimberly Bedinger. “[Eleanor] is very coachable. She is natural and embraces her character. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow. Since she is a freshman, I look forward to three more years with her,” said Bedinger.