Back row, left to right, Brianna Schreurs, Macie Redmond, Rebekah Tuchscherer, Connor Lightfield, Claire Mischel, Jessica Fenhaus, Makayla Johnson and Abby Weber. Front row, assistant coach Laura Maag, Nathan Loutsch, Cat Rego, Kimberlly Aburto, Callie Bolin and head coach Natasha Hartman.
The Milbank High School debate team traveled to the Fargo South High debate tournament this past weekend and came home with several top awards.
Each team debated in four preliminary rounds with several advancing to break rounds. Senior Rebekah Tuchscherer qualified for the semi-finals in Lincoln-Douglas I where she fell on a close 2-1 decision. Junior Connor Lightfield also competed in Lincoln-Douglas I.
Lincoln Douglas debate is the type of one-on-one debate that places a heavy emphasis on logic, ethical values and philosophy. Topics are provided for the students who then prepare cases and engage in an exchange of cross-examinations and rebuttals.
In the novice division of Public Forum III, three of Milbank’s four teams advanced and received octofinalist awards. Claire Mischel and Makayla Johnson went 4-0 heading into octofinals while Abby Weber and Jessica Fenhaus were 2-2. Nathan Loutsch and Cat Rego were 2-2 going into octofinals. Callie Bolin and Kimberlly Aburto received an honorable mention award for their record of 2-2.
Also competing in the varsity division of Public Forum I were Brianna Schreurs and Macie Redmond. Public forum debate involves two teams opposing one another in a debate about a current topic. Students present a case, beginning with either a pro or con of the topic, and engage in rebuttal and refutation. They also participate in a crossfire with the opportunity to question the opposing team.
Milbank hosted the Justin Maass Memorial Novice debate event Tuesday, December 8, at MHS. “The Maass family donates awards to be given out at this tournament each year,” noted MHS debate coach Natasha Hartman. “Prior to debating, we remind all the students to debate with their best character striving to follow the exemplary character and love for a good debate that Justin is remembered for.”
Debaters competed in Policy and Public Forum debate with teams from Watertown, Aberdeen and Brookings. Three local teams competed in Public Forum with Nathan Loutsch and Sadie Holland placing second with a 2-1 record. “Several other debaters worked hard as judges, running the concession stand and helping in the tab room to make this meet a success,” explained Hartman.