LINDALE, Texas (Pine Tree Debate) — Pine Tree High School Speech and Debate team traveled to Lindale, Saturday, September 23, to compete in a highly competitive Lindale TFA NIETOC TOC Classic. 39 schools and over 350 students attended the tournament from all across the State of Texas. Pine Tree competed at the tournament with 14 of their students: Senior Travis Johnson; Juniors Alayna Blalack, Aiden McQueary, Katelyn Morrow and Katelyn Smith; Sophomores Cierra Bunzel, Parker Dalton and Ashlyn Tubbs; Freshmen Liv Brannon, Landon Easterling, Joseph Jacob, Kai Nguyen, Khoa Nguyen and Elizabeth Pruitt. 

The team competed in Congressional Debate, Novice Congressional Debate, Policy Debate, Novice Policy Debate, Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, Novice Extemporaneous Speaking, Prose Interpretation, Program of Interpretation (POI) and Novice Oral Interpretation. 

As a result, Pine Tree Speech & Debate finished 2nd in sweepstakes for 5A Division schools.. They finished a few points behind the defending 2023 5A UIL State Academic Champion, Argyle. They defeated the following 5A schools in attendance: Forney, Joshua, Midlothian Heritage, Mount Pleasant, North Mesquite, Princeton, Saginaw, Terell, and W.B. Ray Corpus Christi. Plano East (6A) won the overall team sweepstakes. 

McQueary finished 6th in Congressional Debate. Dalton finished 3rd in Program of Interpretation (POI), Easterling finished 2nd and Bunzel 3rd in Novice Oral Interpretation. Speech and Debate events are coached by Alyx Dickson. Interpretation events are coached by Nicole & Christopher Dickson. The team will compete next at the Melissa Cardinal Classic on Saturday, October 14, 2023.