Twelve students and two coaches from Ashland High School's speech & debate team are headed to Birmingham, Alabama, for the National Speech & Debate Tournament. 

The Grizzlies qualified for nationals by placing in the top two in the Southern Oregon District, which includes every team outside of the Portland area. 

The students who are headed to nationals have been practicing with the rest of the team to prepare for nationals, said head coach Mat Marr, who is headed to Birmingham along with coach Gene Mandell. The Grizzlies also worked with other qualifiers from all over Oregon to prepare, and last month hosted a "Big Questions" debate tournament attended by national qualifiers from Phoenix High School and Lincoln High School via FaceTime.

The tournament will be held Sunday through Friday. The national qualifiers from AHS are: John Ropp, Gracia Dodds, Rob Stallman, Kleya Dhenin Worlds, Karl Moeglein, Hannah Doyle, Dylan Kistler, Sarah Aaronson, Alex Webb, Annika Larson, Shealyn Millay and Nikolas Lindauer.

Ashland has held several fundraisers to help cover the cost of the trip, including a car wash Sunday. To make a donation, contact Marr at 541-666-8564 or