AUSTIN - Recent Ballinger graduate Zakk Ottmers competed at the State UIL Speech and Debate tournament in Austin, May 22 and 23 and placed third in persuasive speaking.

AUSTIN - Recent Ballinger graduate Zakk Ottmers competed at the State UIL Speech and Debate tournament in Austin, May 22 and 23 and placed third in persuasive speaking. This is the third year in a row that Zakk has qualified for the state meet in persuasive speaking, previously placing seventh his sophomore and junior years. This year he also double qualified for state in Lincoln Douglas debate, an event he has not competed in prior to this year, and was in the top 12 debaters in the state.

In order to qualify for state, Ottmers had to advance through district and region contests. At district, he placed first in LD debate and second in persuasive speaking, and at region, he placed second in both events.

Theatre and speech coach Deidra Dallas applauded Ottmer's accomplishments.

"We are very proud of all of Zakk’s accomplishments. We will miss his leadership and abilities a great deal, but he has done his utmost this year to train the underclassmen in not only speech and debate but also every activity he was a part of at BHS including theatre, choir, and band," Dallas said, "While he will leave a hole behind him, he has done all that he can to make sure that that hole is filled with students as accomplished and dedicated as himself. Zakk has been a legacy leader in his four years at BHS, and he has ensured that the tradition truly does live on."