POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Public speaking is no easy task, but high school students made it look effortless Friday. The 63rd annual BlackSnake Tournament kicked off before the weekend at Idaho State University.
High School speech and debaters from around the region gathered in Pocatello to put their skills to the test. BlackSnake is the longest standing speech and debate tournaments in Idaho and one of the largest in the states.
More than 500 students participated from 24 schools in eastern Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The two-day event features preliminary speeches and debates Friday, with the finals on Saturday afternoon.
Some of these students have been preparing since September to compete in this year’s tournament. Not only is this competition a nerve-racking experience, but it also requires an immense amount of preparation.
“You have to take it out of the classroom, prepare at home, prepare when you’re working, so it takes a lot of my time,” senior at Thunder Ridge High School, Ethan Ricks said. “It’s very rigorous, you’re constantly doing it, but it all pays off in the end.”