Students qualify for debate nationals and state

Lynasi Gapelu


The national qualifying tournament for debate was a two-day event held in March where about 50 other teams from different schools attended the tournament. The tournament was double elimination meaning the students had to debate a certain number of rounds until they either lose twice or there are three teams remaining. Seniors Brendan Spicer and Drake Wood qualified to nationals, for the second year in a row, by taking first in Public Forum Debate.

Their topic for this year was if the United States should promote the development of market rate housing and how to best make housing affordable in urban areas. Nationals will be held in Dallas, Texas in June.

Also, senior Johnny Blocker and junior Tate McCrary qualified for state this year. To qualify for state, students go through the MSHSA district tournament which consists of four preliminary rounds. There students are ranked one through four as speakers and depending on how well they do, they can make it to quarter-finals. If the student wins in quarter-finals, they are then apart of one of the top four teams that qualified for state.

“Unfortunately, in quarterfinals we had to hit the other team from our school. So, to qualify for this year we had to debate against our own team, which sucked.” Blocker said.

The topic is that the United States government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United states.

“Our formative case is that the US should replace DACA, or differed actions for childhood arrivals with the dream act, which provides more permanent protection for people that were brought here illegally as children to the US.” McCrary said.

Both McCrary and Blocker feel confident and put in a lot of work leading up to state. Their preparation process has been going very well. State will be held on April 12-13in Springfield.