History of the Program


When Superintendent Paul Pfeiffer hired Louie Mattachione as a Speech and Government teacher for Perry High School in 1961 he asked the “newbie teacher” if he might work to establish a Competitive Speech Team and Theatre Program for the new school. Louie was eager and anxious to fulfill his request.

In those early years (1961-62) in order for a School to be “chartered” to establish an NFL Chapter the interested school had to have a District School sponsor the prospective applicant for one year. I was fortunate to have two colleague coaches in the Eastern Ohio District who were willing to serve as our sponsor. I accepted BOTH offers. Within one year our NFL Application met the requirements and the Charter was granted.

We must give credit and thanks to the two coaches and schools who served and assisted Louie in gaining our NFL Charter: Mr. WILLIAM NAGEL of Massillon Washington High School and Mrs. RUTH WHITTACRE of Canton GLENWOOD High School.
Our NFL Charter has been active and productive from that early beginning.

State Championships: 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2008

National Speech and Debate Association Coaches’ Hall of Fame Inductee: Louie Mattachione

Ohio Speech and Debate Association Coaches’ Hall of Fame Inductees: Louie Mattachione, Debra Warstler, and Kathy Patron

National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament Finalists: Mark Ferguson (DI), Whitney Willits (USX), and Clay Owens (IX)

Ohio Speech and Debate Association State Tournament Champions:

Clay Owens (2016 – IX)

Tessa Polen (2015 – POI)

Justin Woody and Ally Francis (2011 – DUO)

Caleb Snyder (2011 – HI)

Matt Talbott (2010 – SC)

Morgan Logan (2009 – DI)

Jeremy Hodgson (1999 – DEC)

Jon Tisevich (1996 – HI)

Lisa Andorolo (1995 – LD)

Dan Knepper and Jeff Becherer (1991 – 2P)

Annette Magisano (1985 – POI)

Patrick McRoberts (1983 – HI)

Rob Walther (1982 – OO)

Rich Bossler (1981 – HI)