THS debaters end season with second at state
The Tonganoxie High School debate team finished the 2005-06 season with a second-place finish at the state debate tournament on Jan. 20 and 21 at Derby High School.
The state runner-up four-speaker team was: junior Sarah Kotowske, and seniors Micah Titterington, Garrett Kelly, and Zack Pistora. Junior Crystal Jordan was team alternate and the affirmative team's timekeeper. To qualify for state, the four students placed second in a regional tournament at Osage City High.
Also competing at state in the two-speaker tournament were seniors Benjamin Jefferies, Tyler Truesdell and Rhett Clark, and juniors Noah Fugate, Mike Fonkert, Justin Smith, John Davis and Zach Young.
On Dec. 3 and 4, two THS debaters were invited to compete in the Kansas Debate Coaches' Invitational at Washburn Rural High School outside of Topeka.
Seniors Benjamin Jefferies and Tyler Truesdell were selected and seeded as the eighth-best team in the state, in all classifications, by Kansas coaches. They joined 23 other top teams from across the state for a seven-round tournament. This was Benjamin and Tyler's second chance to debate in the prestigious event. Tyler was awarded the ninth-place speaker award.
On Dec. 3 and 4, THS novice debaters competed in the Sunflower State Novice Invitational, a showcase event for novice debaters from all classifications across Kansas.
Sophomore Matthew Williams and freshman T.J. Dohle compiled a 5-0 record in preliminary rounds and were the second seed in elimination rounds. They defeated a team from Blue Valley in octofinals before losing to the eventual tournament champions from Lawrence Free State High School.
Williams was the second-ranked speaker for the tournament out of roughly 190 top debaters. Dohle finished as the fifth speaker in the event. Other THS debaters competing at the invitational were: sophomore Kristen Titterington and freshmen Dalton Lawson, David Powell, Alicia Osborne, Addy Phelps and Emily Gripka. Freshman Doug Emerson traveled as the THS alternate.
THS qualified one team to the National Catholic Forensic League's Grandnational Debate Tournament to be held in May in Chicago. Seniors Garrett Kelly and Zack Pistora will represent Tonganoxie against roughly 250 other teams from across the nation.