Debating their way through high school
March 16, 2017
Filed under Features
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Here at CHS, we are known for our Speech and Debate program. Both the coach, Mrs. Curtis and the students work hard to prepare for their tournaments and competitions. On the weekend of Feb. 4 and 5, the team attended a league tournament at Stanford University.
At the tournament, every student competes in multiple rounds hoping to win their category.
“This tournament was our last big practice before we get to represent Southern California in the state tournament,” senior Liam Bryant said. “Our school won the Sweepstakes Tournament which means we were the best overall in every category, and we won five or six first places, including myself.”
Schools including Helix Charter, LCC and Mission Vista also attended the tournament and competed against our school. Altogether there were about 212 teams at the tournament. Our school came out with eight first place winners.
“It was really cool to win because I definitely was not expecting first place,” Bryant said. “There are certain times when I compete where I think I could do really well, and there are other times where I did not think I was going to get first place at all.”
The way you make it to the finals round is you have to compete through one round, and another round, and then another round, and each time, people get taken off. By the time you get to the finals round, it goes from 30 people to seven, and of those seven people, you all compete against each other in one last round and they make you stand up on the stage.
Not only does Speech and Debate do well at competitions and tournaments, but the club teaches students different ways to speak and communicate.
“I originally started speech and debate because it was really interesting to me and it’s interesting to hear different viewpoints and it has really taught me that there’s two sides to every situation,” sophomore Anna Mellissinos said. “Everything you could possibly debate, there’s another side. That’s really interesting to me and just the friendships I have gotten out of speech and debate. That is probably one of my favorite parts.”
Speech and Debate is a club that requires commitment and dedication. However, you have the ability to choose how many events you participate in.
“The only thing I would say is it is a really intensive program,” Bryant said. “You really have to dedicate yourself to becoming a better speaker and really working at your craft. Our president does about six events. I do two, and that’s good for me. I don’t dedicate myself entirely to it. You don’t need to become so dedicated that your whole life is speech and debate; it stops being fun at that point. But it’s also good to have a little.”
The team practices their speeches and do debates in class to help them prepare for upcoming events. There are a few periods for this activity; they include 6th period, 4th period, and even 7th period after school.
“Never be afraid to talk to us because I was so scared when I first joined and that’s why I didn’t do it my freshman year because I was scared,” Bryant said. “And then I finally got the courage up to do it and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”