Debate team finds success at two virtual tournaments

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Charlotte Henderson

The novice debate team competes at the JW Patterson Debates in Oklahoma City over Zoom on Oct. 16-18.

Noa Appelbaum, Content Manager

The varsity, junior varsity and novice debate teams attended two separate virtual tournaments for the first time from Sept. 26-27, and many teams ranked among the top seeds.

The varsity team competed at West Des Moines Valley High School in the Mid-America Cup, where juniors Brandon Bousquette and Berk Oto finished 13th seed and advanced to double-octofinals. Juniors Aaron Kim and Brent Pennington also advanced to double-octofinals and finished 18th seed.

“We did well enough to get into the elimination rounds, so overall I’d call it a successful debate,” Brent said. “We’re very optimistic for the rest of the season.”

The junior varsity team also competed at Glenbrook South’s Season Opener Scrimmage tournament, where sophomores Sara Kumar and Serena Thomas earned fifth seed and won fourth and fifth best speakers, respectively. 

Novices competed for the first time at the Glenbrook South tournament. Ninth graders Adam Cheema and Connor Booth ranked first seed in the novice division with Adam earning top speaker. Ninth grader Austin Kim and his partner Mahi Shah also competed, finishing 11th seed.

According to Austin, competing on Zoom made the environment less aggressive and more welcoming.

“Because we’re all new at this, if we can piece an argument together coherently, it works,” he said, “and I think we did a good job.”

Updated for accuracy on Oct. 8.