Speech and debate: An unsung team

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January 5 was Speech and Debate’s last tournament: Colton Lawson, a third-year speech and debate participant, completed the tournament on a last minute notice. Lawson started speech and debate in ninth grade.

“I performed freshmen year in humorous interpretation,” said Lawson. “It is a ten minute… comedic skit.”

Contrary to popular belief, speech and debate is not all argumentative. There are many other sections of speech and debate besides extempore debate.

“A lot of people think of debate as two people standing up and arguing something. Lincoln Douglas debate, which is one person on one person and they argue,” Lawson said. “The other forms… are public forum, two v. two is more laid back but still the argument of current issues there. The last is policy, which is very evidence driven, not a lot of people do that one anymore.”

The speech and debate team is about thirty kids, which is small because it is not nearly as popular as many sports.

“This year I’ve done two events declamation, which is historical speeches that you give with your own interpretation.” Lawson stated. “My favorite event is program oral interpretation, combining multiple literary events such as poetry, prose and drama.“

Dr. Sneddon is the debate teacher and well-liked by the team.

“[Sneddon] is very knowledgeable, she pushes us, but always for our good,” Lawson informed. “I believe she frequently says ‘her job is to make us better and if we don’t like her because of it then she’s still done her job.’”

There are also bigger debates such as a Congress debate which is a mock Congress session.

“They refer to you as Congressmen or women or sometimes Senator so and so from the school that you’re from and you look at bills and stand up and argue them. I hear that’s a pain to judge though because there’s about thirty-two students in the room trying to get the judges’ attention.”

Debate has won many competitions often unrecognized and unannounced by the school: they continue to perform well despite that.

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