Debate team grows in participants

The debate team kicks off their season with brand new coaches and a larger team than previous years. As a new influx of novices join, returning members and captains are wondering how this will impact the team. Team members are eager to try to make it to State this year. Students are excited for the upcoming season with all the new skills and assets that the new members will bring. 

 The debate team grows due to new promotion tactics at the start of the school year. There has been a rise in returning debaters and novices. In addition to the typical recruitment tactics the debate team uses to gain new members, they also had a booth set up at the activities fair to show students what debate was about and why it is such an amazing club.

This has led to a larger team than last year, and although it is beneficial to have as many people interested as possible, it can also prove to be a challenge for the new coaches and captains. Although a larger team can seem challenging, the team seems unified as ever, especially with lockdown being over and they can communicate and meet face to face. 

 “Because a large part of debate in general is working with other people and collaborating on ideas,” junior Jane Fossum said. 

 This year, the team has two new coaches, debate coach Joseph Kalka and Wayne Perkins. Former coaches Laura Hammond and Corey Quick retired from the debate team, leaving two open spots for coaches. Kalka is the new head coach, with Perkins assisting him.

Freshman Nyx Lammie thinks that Kalka is a good teacher of debate and is looking forward to the season as a first year member. There will be a lot of new experiences for both students and coaches due to all the changes in the debate team, but everyone seems excited for the opportunities that come along with having new team members. 

New captains this year will prove to be beneficial to the team. They are all new to holding the position of debate captain and provide a variety of experience to help guide and lead the debate team. Even though the captains are new to the leadership role they have taken up, it provides opportunities and beneficial experience that is of great value to each of them. Being a captain takes a lot of responsibility and planning.

“But I think we’re very conscious of each other’s skills and strong points. So we’re able to really work together to get the best of all three of us,” junior Anne Messelt said.

The debate team has had a record of being successful when it comes to competitions in previous years. They have even made it all the way to the State competition. With the new arrivals of coaches, captains, returning members, and novices, the future is looking up for this year’s debate team.

Fossum also states that they “Started a few weeks before many of the other schools in our league” in preparation for the new season.

The debate team’s future is really looking bright. This debate season may be different then last years but the team has proven they are ready to take on the challenges and face the trials of new leadership and a larger team.

“We’re a strong team. We are very connected and I think it’s gonna go well,” Messelt said.