Debate team wins bids at tournament in Illinois

Callie Payne, Entertainment Editor

As debate members reminisce on their trip during Thanksgiving break, they reflect on competing in their debate tournament and exploring the city of Chicago.

The debate team traveled to Illinois during the first week of November to The Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament.

“I was so excited to go on this trip because I had never been to Chicago,” junior Katie Golson said. “There were so many cool things that I was able to experience that I have never been able to before. We went to an awesome museum and we also went to this hilarious comedy club, I had the best time.”

The Glenbrooks tournament is a special event where participants have the opportunity to win a bid. If a member gets two or more bids they are eligible to go to the next tournament which eventually leads to the Tournament of Champions.

“The TOC is very exclusive and is an even bigger deal than nationals,” Golson said. “If you do well, you can win things like money. It is a huge honor to be able to go and that has been my main goal that I have set for myself this year.”

Over 245 schools came together to compete in the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament. This means there were more than 1,000 students competing for bids.

“The tournament went really well for going against debaters that are tougher than the average debater on the Austin circuit,” senior Alex Paulson said. “It was really cool helpful to see other debaters and see what they do differently than me. I’m hoping I can use that experience to do well at state next semester.”

The debate team not only went to the tournament to compete with other schools, they were able to visit some of Chicago’s famous landmarks.

“Our main day in downtown Chicago was so much fun,” Paulson said. “We walked around Chicago on our own and I personally went to the Field Museum and the Art Institute, they were both so fascinating. Some of the things we saw surprised me because it was something I had never seen before.”

Students who are on the debate team join in on these tournaments for many different reasons.

“It was important for me to be apart of this tournament because it looks good to colleges,” Golson said. “Many students in debate come on this trip to learn more about bids and what it takes to go onto even higher tournaments. I also want debate to be in my career field so this experience is very helpful towards that.”

John Mast is the debate teacher and accompanied the debate team to the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament.

“The students were able to get an opportunity to compete against the best students in the country,” Mast said. “This exposure is necessary for the continued success of the team.”

This year at the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament, the debate members were able to understand what a tournament is like and able to practice for coming up ones. All students became state qualified.

“Chicago was more about learning and getting ready to get bids in the next tournaments,” Golson said. “Nine debate students went and so did two coaches, this really helped me learn more because since it was such a small group, I was able to get a more hands on experience with everything.”

The students were all qualified to the next tournament which will then determine if they will be able to participate in the TOC which is held at the University of Kentucky.

“If we get two bids at this next tournament we will be able to make it to the TOC,” Golson said. “They split the tournament into two different  sections which are known as silver and gold. Something that is super cool is that because of our previous success we will be eligible for silver. However, our goal will be to aim for gold because that is more of an accomplishment.”

To prepare for these different tournaments, students have to put it hours of after school time.

“Even though debate can require a lot of work and preparation, I really enjoy it,” Paulson said. “I like going to tournaments every weekend and being able to debate. It is definitely one of my passions and I also get to hang out with my friends which is the cherry on top.”

The team had a long trip in Chicago, visiting the city from Nov. 1 through Nov. 8.

“The trip was such an enjoyable experience and I am so thankful for all of my friends making it so memorable,” Paulson said. “It was so nice to be able to see my friends from other states that I haven’t seen. I had such a blast and am so excited for future debate trips during next semester.”