Speech and Debate starts new season

Freshman+Caitlyn+Patton+prepares+for+a+match.
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Speech and Debate starts new season

Freshman Caitlyn Patton prepares for a match.

Freshman Caitlyn Patton prepares for a match.

Stone Freeman

Freshman Caitlyn Patton prepares for a match.

Stone Freeman

Stone Freeman

Freshman Caitlyn Patton prepares for a match.

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The first semester had quite a bit in store for the Broken Arrow Speech and Debate team. From training one of largest groups of freshman, to writing cases and preparing pieces, the group was pressed for time. As the second semester began, the debate season started to become mostly competition.

“Since the break, I’ve read a lot of articles and researched the topics for the coming months. The second semester is really a time to hone in on your skills to get qualified for the district and regional tournaments,” junior Devin Williams said. “So far I’ve just gone to the Union tournament in Public Forum debate, but I can’t wait for State or Student Congress.”

For every tournament attended, there is an exhausting couple of days for the team members. The group leaves school on Fridays at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and travel to the host school. From there, debate rounds last until 9 or 10 p.m. After a little rest, students return the next morning for more rounds and events. It’s common for the team to participate in up to four tournaments back to back.

“I’ve spent countless hours writing speeches and doing topic research, but I spent a lot more time doing in-depth research and practicing debate,” junior Livvy Hendricks said.

Post season is simply the opportunity to get qualified for higher stake tournaments such as nationals, which takes place in Atlanta, Salt Lake City or Dallas at the beginning of June, or state, which usually happens in April at many different locations. Both tournaments are heavily anticipated.

“This semester has been composed of being up to date on the current presidential election and rewriting my original oratory,” junior Amanda Amos said. “The second semester tournaments are the ones that matter, but I’ve won quite a few tournaments and I’m really optimistic for a spot in state.”

To ensure that one has a place in post season, it takes a lot of preparation. For debaters, the task includes writing sophisticated cases along and getting plenty of evidence to have the best understanding of the predetermined topic. For people in speech, more high-intensity practice is required for memorization, fluency and other factors of their pieces.

None of this is new for the speech and debate team, as this has been in practice for the past several months.

“We had a really talented squad of debaters and competitive speakers this year. By the beginning of the second semester we already qualified almost as many events for the regional tournament as we did all last year,” team coach Robert Walters said. “Our team has been led by a strong class of juniors who are emerging as some of the best in our region. I have high hopes for our district tournament which will qualify some students for the national tournament.”

 

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