The Speech and Debate team competed at the West Lake and Anderson High School swing tournament attempting to take home trophies for the school and learn more about debate and speech competition.

¨The most difficult part for me is the politicking behind congress,” Campbell Melton, varsity member, said. “I do congressional debate and so there is a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiation in terms of which topics we are going to debate and who will get to debate what. It is really hard to make sure that you have everything figured out, because you can get boxed out by other competitors, which basically gives you no chance at winning. So, I always have to be aware of everything going on and get the things that I need passed or in others’ minds.¨ 

Debate and Speech in itself can be a stressful process especially during a swing tournament, meaning you compete in two tournaments at once. Although, there are certainly aspects of debate tournaments that are less challenging in a sense.

¨The easiest part of competing was looking at our ballots and taking the critics from the judges and since I had two events I practiced both twice,” junior Jane Unger, a DI (dramatic interpretation) varsity member said. “Poetry takes around 6 minutes and DI takes around 9 minutes, so around 30 minutes the night before, but I had been working on both pieces since the beginning of the school year.”

Prepping for tournaments is completely dependent on how well a student is feeling about their cases and speeches. Prepping could take hours and up to weeks in order to be fully prepared to compete against other schools for trophies and recognition.

¨To prepare for the tournament, we did some prep rounds in [our] classroom, but most of the [cases] I wrote I did out of class,” freshman novice Lily Claire Kroll said. “At first, it was hard to get into writing so many speeches, but I started getting passionate about some of the ones I wrote.¨ 

Novice members are members who are first year debaters and speakers who have no prior experience, being in an enclosed and safe environment assists novices in learning about topics.

¨Now that I have some real experience with a real tournament, I definitely want to do more in the future,” Kroll said. “This past weekend was only my first tournament, so I´m looking forward to getting better at tournaments in the future.¨  

Written by Eli Craddock