She wiped her sweaty palms on her décor like dress and took the stage. The stage itself instilled a nervousness of it’s own but the judges, their prying eyes, that was truly reminded her that she was in front of a quite a sizable crowd and her peers were waiting to see if she was going to do well or bring them down.

“In my competition, you have to be funny to the judge or you won’t win,” Junior Julia Roldan said. With that in mind, she knew she had to be master every aspect of the full twenty characters she was given or there was no point in trying to beat the other schools.

Luckily, her competitive nature outdid her nervous one and she gave a performance that was worthy of her Debate coach, Christy Trussell, teachings and with one last line given, she exited the stage with a bravado that much resembled the Tiger spirit as others would say. All she could do from then was wait and see if her effort were in vain or well spent.

But this scenario of nervousness, performing to the fullest, and waiting in anticipation was not hers alone to experience.  “When I’m debating, I just forget my nervousness,” Sophomore Emma Gell said and relayed that she, like the rest of her debating peers, are there to win and anything else below that is nothing short of disappointing.

At the Bowie High School, Dripping Springs’ Debate team competed and several of their varsity and novice members brought back winnings and a few among those also qualified for State. Their competitions varied from a Lincoln Douglas debate all the way to Humorous Interpretation.

“My event was based on the morality of something,” Gell said. “What people believe is more moral…we take a resolution, we argue for or against it using philosophical things.”

With her debate in particular, the Lincoln Douglas debate, Gell had to argue both sides of the argument and ended up placing as a semi-finalist. She notes that it did take time outside and inside of class and had her up till the three in the morning. For debate, an argument has to have the smallest amount of flaw in order to win, but it also relies on the amount of effort a person is willing to put

“We practice during class,” Trussell said. “But the students who do really well practice at home and spend endless hours writing speeches, perfecting speeches, polishing those speeches, and practicing. And that’s what the makes the difference.”

Along with, Trussell said that those who are more competitive and take it more seriously also place higher in the competitions. And according to Roldan, this couldn’t be truer.

“Yeah, I’m angry that I got semi-finalist because I really wanted to get to finals,” Roldan said. “But that’s because I’m competitive…everyone in the debate should be competitive…it helps you to want to achieve a better quality of work and in the end, that’s what determines if you win or not.”

The finalists on the debate team that are going to state are Seniors Ryan Love, Shelton Stewart, and Wyatt Cross. Along with this Maria Duster, Kamrie Holmes, Insiya Aziz, Sarah Bryant, Kallie Bergh, Catherine Manning also placed highly in their debates.

The debate team is sure in that they will win at state and hope that those who just missed the mark to qualify will also be able to place high enough in their own debates to have a place at state.  With lots of practice, they’re affirmative it will be a victory for them because as Roldan said,

“Debate is all about quality and practice.”

Kerry James

Staff Writer