South forensics students make nationals for ninth year


Forensics nationalist, Kimiya Monfared, Ethan Cox, and Sam Harder posing for a picture. This event took place at Wichita East High School. Photo courtesy of W. Rice


Three South students have qualified for nationals in forensics. The three nationalists are Kimiya Monfared, 12, Ethan Cox, 11, and Sam Harder, 11. This year’s nationals will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on the third week of June and they have created a EdCo page to help raise money to go on the trip. South has had a national qualifier for its nine consecutive years of existence.

“I joined forensics to improve my current communication skills to understand current events better and to become a better listener,” Harder, said. “To prepare for all my other past tournaments, I read the news a lot, I practiced speaking and I went to a lot of tournaments before the latest one.”

In order to become a nationalist, students went to district competitions to compete against all of the best performers in their events in the Wichita Metro area. There were eight events and the top two in each event qualified for nationals.

“I placed first  at the Sunflower District NSDA qualifier in my event, HI,” Monfared said. “My piece was called Imaginary Harry and it is by Bradley Hayward.”

Travel to national competition in Fla. is not paid for by the district; therefore, students and teachers started an EdCo page to help raise money. EdCo is similar to GoFundMe.

It’s a great way to get people who want to donate that aren’t necessarily nearby and they can get online and donate however much money to this experience,” Wesley Rice, coach, said. “Our goal is set at $6,500. We set that number because evaluating the cost of plane tickets for five people, coaches and students, round trip tickets for Fort Lauderdale, hotel costs for the entire week, food and transportation costs, it came to about that amount.”

While South did make nationals, it was also very stressful for the students.

“It’s stressful because I wasn’t able to go home most of the time just because I was always working on [my performance]” Nate Moore, 10, said. “It gets stressful but how we prepare is we just practice a lot and make different cutting and pieces for all of our pieces and scripts.”

Although some teammates were disappointed is their loss, they will still be supporting and cheering them on when they go to nationals.

“I was one place off and it still sucks but I’m happy for Kimmy, Ethan, and Sam and I’m very proud of all of them,” Moore said. “I’ve seen them work all year just to get to this point. Nationally qualifying is like the biggest honor that you can get from our school and I’m going to go to nationals just to watch. It’s going to be fun and I’m excited.”

South students spent many hours to get where they are now, and are looking forward to spend time with their teammates.

“I’m ready to spend some great quality time with my team and be able to compete at a high level at nationals,” Harder said.

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Forensics nationalist, Kimiya Monfared, Ethan Cox, and Sam Harder posing for a picture. This event took place at Wichita East High School. Photo courtesy of W. Rice