Debating to victory

Deja McKenzie, Reporter

Forensics is an impression of theatre pieces, scripted pieces that are interpreted and performed. On the other hand, debate is a discussion between two sides of a topic, where people are advocating on which side is better and if it should be viewed as a policy or an idea. Their biggest tournament of the year was at Liberty High School where 50 schools competed to advance towards state.

In Forensics and Debate, students can choose what category they want to pursue to perform in. Senior Ian Van Horn, who does Humorous Interpretation, lists the categories that are happening in the tournament.

“For Forensics, there is Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, StoryTelling, Duo Interpretation, Pros, Poetry, POY (Program Oral Interpretation), and Comic Book Interpretation. For Debate, there is Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy Debate,” said Van Horn.

For this tournament, team collaboration and practice plays a role in order to win.  Forensics teacher Todd Schnake elaborates on how teamwork helps the team achieve their goal.

“We arrive 45 minutes before the tournament. When we get to the tournament, we normally do a team warm up and I have some of the students lead that, so they can get energized and focused. Also, they would rehearse their material one last time before they perform,” said Schnake.

In every tournament, there are similarities and differences. Debate Teacher Karla Penechar thinks that this tournament has less variation than a normal tournament.

“The only difference is that it is bigger than a normal tournament that we go to.  The normal tournament is around 25 schools which means that this tournament is doubled. Also, it is more well runned and it is highly advanced,” said Penechar.

Senior Brendan Lucas, who does Policy Debate, clarifies on how doing research on his topic can help him understand the meaning of the topic and how it benefits the audience.

“With the assignment that I am assigned to, I prepare myself to get into the mindset of the topic. Also, I nourish myself into the topic, the literature, how the debate works, what sides I am on, how to speak to the judges and convince them,” said Lucas.

Even though the pressure is not only heavy on the school, it is also heavy on the other participating schools as well. Schnake gives advice to students who want to prepare themselves for enormous tournaments.

“Your piece is still you piece. The performance that you are giving, you do not want to allow the pressure of a larger tournament to cause you to not perform it as well. You need to play within yourself and perform your piece the way it is intended to be performed,” said Schnake.

In Forensics and Debate, hard work and optimism are the characteristics of qualifying for every tournament. With this tournament, it put every school to the test to see if they are ready to advance towards State, Congress, Finals, and eventually Nationals.