Completely Speaking: Debate finishes third at state


Courtesy of Melissa Reynolds

The four-speaker team stands with their third place trophy at state on Jan. 14.

Cash Navarro, Staff Writer

These 30 words have been the guiding resolution that almost all high school debate teams in the nation have been vigorously researching, writing and debating for nearly the whole of 2022-2023 policy debate season. 

“Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.”

This past weekend, our school sent its very own debaters to Wichita to compete in this year’s state debate competition. 

“We are really proud of what all did,” Sophomore Edgar Ludwikoski said, two-year debater. “I would say it was a good year.”

The tournament was split into two sections, four-speaker and two-speaker, with senior Daniel Larson, sophomore Franny Chaffee-McClure and juniors Alex Haggerty and Norah Carney competing in the four-speaker, with sophomore Kristina Erskine and Joseph Schmidt competing in two-speaker. 

“Honestly, it was not like anything I’ve ever done,” Chaffee-McClure said, who competed for the first time as a part of the state team. “It was a very intense and stressful environment, but it was really fun and I think I learned a lot.” 

After two days of rounds, the four-speaker team placed third within their tournament, with the two-speaker team coming in at fourth. 

“I think everyone had good moments, ”Schmidt said. “We also had some bad moments, but on the whole it was just a good tournament and a good year overall. I think that almost everyone improved in some way.” 

This tournament marked the end of their last debate season for five seniors, all of whom have been a member of the team since they were freshmen. This includes senior Daniel Larson. 

“I think next year will be a bit of regrowth and rebuilding,” Erskine said. “I have confidence that we will be able to keep on winning.”

 Haggerty shared a similarly quite optimistic prediction. 

“I think we’re going to have a much higher chance of winning state next year, especially considering the talent of the sophomores and current novices that we have.” Haggerty said. “I fully believe that it can be done.”