The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

NEWS: Debate Takes State

Debate and Forensics team competed in the state debate tournament
In+the+4-Speaker+State+Debate+Tournament%2C+Free+State+finished+with+a+9-5+record+and+in+3rd+place.+Pictured+from+left+to+right+are+the+competitors%3A+sophomore+Oliver+Fredrick%2C+junior+Cooper+Hefty%2C+senior+Sophie+Racy%2C+senior+Connor+Brown%2C+junior+Gilly+Falin%2C+and+sophomore+Olive+Minor.+
Contributed by Free State Speech and Debate
In the 4-Speaker State Debate Tournament, Free State finished with a 9-5 record and in 3rd place. Pictured from left to right are the competitors: sophomore Oliver Fredrick, junior Cooper Hefty, senior Sophie Racy, senior Connor Brown, junior Gilly Falin, and sophomore Olive Minor.

After a successful season, The Debate and Forensics team competed at the annual 6A Kansas State High School Activities Association Debate Tournament at Washburn Rural High School. The team worked together to take home multiple wins during the season, including Regionals where they placed second qualifying them for State.

“A debate and forensics team like ours can’t be successful unless everybody on the team is willing to work together,” senior and Speech and Debate President Sophie Racy said.

To prepare for tournaments and State, students worked outside of school dedicating hours to research and practice. Going into regionals and state the team had placed in the top 10 and top three at multiple tournaments. Debate team members Cooper Hefty and Racy said that Head Coach Kelly Thompson plays a huge role in motivating and organizing the team to help them feel prepared.

“He pushes you, but is also there for you when you need it,” junior Cooper Hefty said.

Juniors Nathan Peltier and Cooper Elo after competing and finishing 9th in the 2-Speaker State Debate Tournament. 

Thompson was inducted into the Debate Coaches Invitational Hall of Fame this year, being recognized as a great coach and respected individual in the debate community. Coaches are nominated and elected after being a head coach for a minimum of 15 years. Thompson has the team set a goal at the beginning of the season so they all are working towards a shared goal.

“Anytime you can bring a trophy home from the State tournament, it means that your students worked hard and had a good performance, even if it fell a little bit short of the goals they set for themselves,” Thompson said.

The teams goal was to take home a trophy at state and improve from previous years. The team came out of state in third with a 9-5 record in the four-speaker division and placed in the top 16 for the two-speaker division. This gave Free State their third consecutive trophy finish in the 4-speaker division at State.

As the debate season ends the team is working towards their fifth consecutive State Forensics championship which they will compete for in April.

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