When many people think about debate, they tend to only see the competitive side, but fail to notice the family and community this extra-curricular activity creates. This activity also impacts and helps each of the members grow as people. Last season the debate team accomplished numerous successes and are looking forward to many more this season.
Debate helps each person in many ways, from building confidence, to growing as a person and a speaker; this includes their team president this year, Julia Hopes. She concluded, “Overall, I think that the activity has helped me get out of my shell and most importantly taught me a lot about myself.” Debate gives students a platform and a way to grow without the risk of facing judgement.
Although debate is indeed quite competitive, at the end of the day, what everyone really cares about are the memories they have made along the way. Braden Culp, a senior debater, says, “Spending time with great friends at tournaments where you find yourself stressing over little things is a great feeling, and remembering those little moments here and there are by far the greatest memories.” Of course, the group experienced multiple successes, such as winning state AA debate last year, sending ten of their varsity debaters to nationals, and getting first, second, and third at Novice Nationals. Everyone is definitely looking forward to this season with thirty-six new team members and eighteen varsity debaters. As the debate coach, Dr. Kip McKee, eloquently explains, “Every year is its own unique entity. We have so many kids that have a chance to be involved this year,and what I am really looking for is to see who steps up, really takes charge, and is leads the team. Who does the practice rounds, works with the new kids, and goes to each tournament.”
Every member of the team anxiously awaits this year’s qualifying tournament to take on nationals this summer in Dallas, Texas; before then, the members await their first national circuit competition in Apple Valley, Minnesota, during the first week of November.This debate season everyone is excited for many new memories with each new teammate, and they all hope for a season as successful as the last.