The MHS debate team opened their 2019-2020 season by competing in two tournaments. The public forum team, which includes freshmen Max Lightfield and Aiden Ludvigson, competed in the first tournament of their careers at the Brookings Novice Debate Tournament on November 5. The duo won two rounds and lost two rounds. At Aberdeen Central’s Golden Eagle Tournament on November 9 in Aberdeen, they upped their average by winning three of the five rounds.
The second novice team includes junior Peyten Wiese and sophomore Hayley Hupke. At the Golden Eagle Tournament, Peyten and Hayley won one round and lost three in the novice public forum division. Marion Mischel won two and lost two rounds in the Lincoln Douglas division.
Head coach Kathy Tyler says, “Public forum debate is a new type of debate created to encourage more students to enter the debate arena. It’s a far cry from policy debate in that there are three different resolutions during the season; simple pro and con arguments are presented; and it’s structured so that ‘regular’ people can judge it. Hence the name public forum. Students research the topic, prepare pro and con presentations, and debate their given side. The debates last about 40 minutes.”
Tyler says, “Lincoln-Douglas is a one-on-one debate. It’s intense and requires aplomb, professionalism, and work. This is Marion’s second year competing in Lincoln-Douglas.”
“I am proud of what these five students have accomplished in the past two months,” Tyler says. “Since there is no debate class, they need to use their own time to prepare their cases. They’ve met after school three to four times per week, in addition to working at home. They’ve worked hard and the quality of their presentations and arguments showed it. They are taking what they’ve learned at the tournaments and using that new knowledge to improve their presentations. They will only improve.”
Watertown’s Novice Tournament and Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s annual tournament are next on the schedule.