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

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    FEATURE: Debate Hosts Home Tournament

    Debate team hosts home tournament and prepares for major tournament
    Geneva Sabatini
    Junior Ben Stammeyer reads through his notes on the argument while his opponent presents their case.

    To continue their success from last year, the debate team plans their annual home tournament and prepares for one of the first national circuit tournaments of the year.  

    The home tournament, organized by the leadership board president and vice president, is almost fully student run. For students who are members of the leadership board, such as junior Anwen Williams, this puts the pressure on them to plan the event. 

    [Planning looks like] making sure we know where everything is and where things are going to be. It’s just a lot of logistical work to make sure nothing goes crazy and we can’t locate people,” Williams said. 

    For the average member of the debate team, the home tournament consists of staying on task and following what the leadership board tells them to do, according to Williams.

    “On the squad’s end, [planning] is making sure you’re bringing food for the hospitality room, making sure you’re getting your judges, knowing what your job entails and that you’re there on time,” Williams said. 

    For more experienced debaters, like junior Kylie Chartrand, potential jobs include leadership roles like “Timekeeper Wrangler.” 

    “I have to make a spreadsheet of all the novices that we have and then each round I’m in charge of putting them in rooms to go timekeep. I have to make sure that they’re acting right, because if they don’t act how they’re supposed to, in a room, I have to report that,” Chartand said. 

    The weekend after the home tournament, juniors Gilly Falin and Cooper Hefty and sophomores Olive Minor and Lena Hasiuk attended the Iowa Caucus tournament. The Iowa Caucus is an annual tournament on the national circuit. 

    The debaters who place in the top of the bracket have the opportunity to get a bid to go to the Tournament of Champions [TOC] in April, according to Minor. The tournament was the first major tournament of their sophomore year for Minor and Hasiuk. 

    “I’m really nervous. I’m still trying to make the switch over from novice debate and doing that in front of some of the best debaters in Kansas is not ideal, but it’s gonna happen and I’m gonna learn,” Minor said. 

    Because of the intensity of the tournament, Hasiuk and Minor had to prepare to do well.

    “I’ve been dealing with some stress related to preparing, but overall I’m really excited about the season. I’m confident in my ability to get better with the support of my peers and my coaches,” Minor said. 

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    About the Contributors
    Ember Klein
    Ember Klein, News Managing Editor
    Ember Klein is a Newspaper Managing Editor on staff this year. Outside of journalism, they are involved in theatre and are a football manager. In free time, they love to paint and read.
    Geneva Sabatini
    Geneva Sabatini, Assistant Design Editor
    Geneva is a junior at Free State. She is a photographer and designer on journalism staff. She runs track and cross country and is apart of NHS and LINK. Outside of school, she loves to spend time with friends and family.
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