Debate team exceeded expectations at first competition


Quinn Guffey, Staff Writer

Rolla High School Debate Team has been traveling for the first time since the early 2000’s. The first trip was to Lebanon in early February. The debate team is making a comeback since history teacher Michael Ellis agreed to coach the team.

Junior Jesse Kimball is currently working as president of the debate team. During the tournament, the team competed in Novice Lincoln Douglas division. The team was just settling into the tournament as it began.

Essentially, debate is an argument with rules. Each debater gets a set amount of time to convey their stance on why they’re right, and how their opponent is wrong. Each opponent gets a turn to attack or try and tear down their opponent’s argument. Debate comes with a multitude of benefits and real-world uses. Kids who choose to involve themselves in debate develop strong speaking presences for job interviews, college interviews.

“I would say that it makes me a better public speaker, and makes me less afraid to share my opinion with others. It helps me be more confident and assertive in my answers,” senior Eden Potter said.

The team was especially nervous for their first competition, though they managed to strive through with confidence in themselves, and their teammates.

“I felt like it was good experience, even though it was super stressful for me, but I think it was overall good for me and the other debaters.” freshman Pearl Daugaard said.

Almost all of the team won at least one of the four debates they participated in, an impressive endeavor for a first-time debate team. With one of their team members, Potter, scoring three wins out of four, moved on to quarter finals. Potter placed fourth in the Novice Lincoln Douglas division, a huge step forward for her, and her teammates.

The topics debated on are usually current and adamant topics which are relevant to the population today. During the tournament, the debaters went back and forth on the topic of whether the United States should send military aid to authoritarian regimes, like Syria . Aid can be defined in many ways, from sending troops to sending money for weapons military supplies. The affirmative argument being that military aid should be taken away from authoritarian regimes. The negative argument was military aids should be continued to be given to authoritarian regimes.

As the arguments rolled by, the debaters were encouraged to fine-tune and fix holes their previous opponents found and attacked in their arguments and points. At the end of the day, the debate team was more than happy with their outcome, stepping above their goals, and doing the absolute best they could. They look forward to gaining more experience and improving on what they’ve learned.