Debate Team starts off the season strong with a win

Debating competitions used to be populated by nerds in white-starched shirts and ties. Now in schools across the world, and especially in urban schools, debate teams are becoming  popular again.
The Bowie Forensic Team kicked off the season with a big win, getting 2nd place Sweepstakes lead by the new coach Brian Alford. The team only lost by a handful of points to Hendrickson who had triple the competitors.
Last year to this year, it has been very different for the debate team switching coaches. Coach Alford takes the place of coach Shumate.
“Our team definitely misses our old debate coach Shumate, but our team loves Alford,” sophomore Miguel Lozano said. “I haven’t gotten to know him too well, but I definitely look forward to him becoming part of the family.”
“It is an amazing experience, you get to meet a lot of amazing people at the tournaments,” sophomore Jamie Godwin said. “It’s a lot of dedication but completely worth it.”
The team took top awards in almost every event they entered, including another big team award- the Squad Efficiency Award, which goes to the team with the best ratio of awards to student competitors.
This tournament was the first for Tanner Berg but with the knowledge of his experienced partner Miguel Lozano they came out victorious. Lozano and Berg participated in the duet acting section of the tournament and are now state qualified after winning two tournaments in a row.
“State qualifying in two tournaments has definitely been great, we make a great team and we cannot wait for the state tournament in Houston in 2014,” Lozano said.
As for Havlin and Godwin, this was also the first tournament for them both. They proved that they were able to stay with the big dogs and came in second place in duet acting.
“I love working with Dana. She’s definitely helped me a lot throughout this process,” Godwin said.
In dramatic interpretations, fourth place went to Brooklyn Boreing, fifth place to Dane Ralph, seventh place Lily Howard, and eighth place to Halen Wilson.
This is the beginning of ongoing experience and learning. Students on the debate team are looking for ways to improve.
“Our team has grown so much from last year,” Hoban said. “The actual debate programs’ attitude towards competing is a lot more geared towards qualifying for state and doing well in the tournaments we attend.”
Bowie students on the debate team say that debate  is not only rewarding with many life benefits but it is also very challenging and comes with many responsibilities.
“As a captain, I also have to encourage people when they are winning as well as when they are losing. One of the hardest parts of debate is losing rounds because it really discourages people,” Hoban said.