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

Archived photo from Chloe Cook
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By the office, students can see the attendance leaderboard hanging on the wall. As the school year comes to an end there has been a decrease in seniors attending their classes.
NEWS: Senior Slump
The NBAs viewership has declined almost 45 percent since the early 2010s.
NEWS: Decline in Viewership
Album covers from releases in March.
REVIEW: March Music Mania

FEATURE: Racy-ing to the Top

Debater Sophie Racy earns the premier distinction after over 400 rounds of competition
Eli Roust
Smiling, senior Sophie Racy stands for a photo. Racy has competed as a member of the Speech and Debate team for 4 years, earning numerous medals along the way. “I think that these awards serve as a representation of the work I’ve put into the activity and I was given them because the people around me in the community see that” Racy said. (Caption by Gregory Mayhew)

Summing up her outstanding work for four straight years, star debater Sophie Racy’s high school career comes to a close being nationally recognized with the NSDA’s degree of premier distinction.

The degree of premier distinction was only part of Sophie’s achievements. She has also qualified for the NSDA national tournament all four years and qualified for the Tournament of Champions (TOC) for three years, being the first person in Kansas to do that.

“Having the opportunity to step back and see that people are truly proud of my work and seeing it is super rewarding,” senior Sophie Racy said, “My goal has always been to make an impact on others, so it’s super cool to see that that’s really happening now.”

One of the reasons Racy enjoys debate and finds success in it is the meaning behind the arguments she makes. Debaters can not only pick the pieces they argue on but also the stance they take which they spend hours researching.

“My personal connection and passion for the content I talk about certainly pushes me to research further and continue my career in the activity,” Racy said.

The awards and recognition did not come without cost, Racy has put a lot into her debate career. Including the effort to make her admirable arguments and hours of her personal time.

“I’ve spent a lot of time researching and attending practice after school to work with coaches. I also conduct a lot of research to understand the content that I’m talking about,” Racy said.

Racy says you need a passion to dedicate so much to a time consuming and stressful activity. She herself looks for content she has a connection to, so that she can dedicate herself so much.

“At the point I’ve reached, debate and forensics subsumes the majority of my life,” Racy said, “Without a drive and willingness to dedicate so much time to it, you would be nowhere near prepared to participate in it.”

Racy’s career has turned heads all over the country but she says that her career may not have even happened if not for encouragement from her peers and coaches.

“When I started to debate my freshman year, I didn’t particularly enjoy it and pictured myself barely participating (or even quitting) because it just felt like a lot of busy work,” Racy said.

Now that Racy is nationally recognized and a soon to be high school graduate she looks to what her future could hold. Right now she is deciding on a college but hopes to continue debate wherever she goes.

“While I’m not entirely deciding on where I’ll be attending next year, I have opportunities/offers to debate in college and currently plan on doing so,” Racy said, “I hope to continue my research and activism through the activity in college.”

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About the Contributor
Claire Heinritz
Claire Heinritz, Reporter
Claire Heinritz is a sophomore at Free State High School and a reporter for journalism. At Free State, she is involved in girls golf and track. Outside of school, she likes to travel and hangout with family and friends.
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