Debate season kicks off with Halstead Tournament


Courtesy Photo

Junior Joanna Carrillo makes the final touches on her argument before she competes.

The annual high school debate season has officially started.

This year, 13 students are out for debate, and many of them competed at their first tournament on Saturday Sept. 15. Hays placed eight out of 18 teams. Students who competed include juniors Joanna Carrillo, Colton Vajnar and Ashton Tabor, sophomores Grace Redetzke, Ryan Deitering, Franklin Owens and Caden Riat and freshmen Grace McCord and Zoey Urban.

Carrillo and Vajnar placed 19 out of 26 open division teams. Open division is usually full of third and fourth year students. There was not a junior varsity division at the competition. Riat and McCord place 9 out of 26 novice teams.

“Debate is a speaking class that focuses on good argumentation of both sides of that year’s topic,” instructor Codi Fenwick said. “Research, reading and organizing information and thoughts are key elements to debate.”

Debate students do not only practice hard during class hours. They also meet most Tuesdays and Thursdays each week for about two hours.

“We are very proud of all of our students,” Fenwick said. “It was a great learning experience, and we saw some great growth from our students.”