Small debate team works towards big wins


Andrea Marshbank

Top (left to right) Kaden Fox, Ahmni Pang-Johnson, Noah Belt, Connor Bryant, Alias Moser Bottom (left to right): Cole King, Mary Morrison, Teagan Kress

Eight members from the Debate team traveled to their state competition in Garden City Kansas.  To be accepted into state, students must earn a record above 500 at a minimum of four tournaments.

Noah Belt, a senior debater, said he and his teammates have been preparing for the tournament with, “Lots of research concerning negative positions like disadvantages and counter plans. There are also affirmative plans and a lot of speech practices and drills.”

This years topic was immigration, more specifically whether the United States Federal government should reduce restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.

Despite having a smaller team, the Vikings ended up with the highest number of teams to move on with three breaking into the top 16, the elimination round. Last year Belt suffered a loss against Blue Valley Southwest. Belt and his partner Ahmni Pang-Johnson got sweet revenge when they knocked out the defending state champions to move on to the quarterfinals and finish in the top eight.

Debate teacher Mr. Zachary Dinges says the most memorable part is seeing the excitement in his student’s faces when team after team broke through into the next round. “By being the lower seed and going into the competition as the underdog, knocking off the school that’s the defending state champion so we could punch our tickets into quarters was really amazing,” states Dinges.

Of the eight competitors, five of them are seniors. “Their talent is irreplaceable and their presence will be missed,” says Dinges. “But for right now I’m happy about the success and excited about the next season.”