Linenberger: Taking in state debate
It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s state debate.
Tonganoxie was home to its first state debate tournament starting Friday with state-qualified teams in Class 4A and Class 3-2-1A coming to Tonganoxie in four-speaker and two-speaker competitions with aspirations of being named state champions.
Debate isn’t really a spectator sport, but maybe it should be.
Competitions take place in classrooms with debate members, judges and a few other select onlookers.
I was able to sit in on a four-speaker debate between Tonganoxie and Rock Creek, a high school near Manhattan.
The resolution being debated this year is "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States."
Tonganoxie High’s Austin Harris and Hannah Pray debated in the affirmative, while Rock Creek’s Josh Roberts and Dylan Meyers debated in the negative.
Back and forth, members of each team debated with point-counterpoint.
Debate teams discuss the same topic throughout the year.
Roberts said competitions become interesting come state. Teams become more creative with their arguments, he said.
“At state, there’s more thinking on your feet,” Roberts said.
We'll have more reaction from Tonganoxie representatives later, and though it was my first debate contest to view firsthand, I'd have to concur. It was exciting watching the students debate back and forth.
Schools competing in the Class 4A four-speaker debate are Buhler, El Dorado, Fort Scott, Paola, Pittsburg, Spring Hill, Rock Creek, Tonganoxie and Wellington.
Class 3-2-1A teams are Caney Valley, Hutchison-Trinity Catholic, Kingman, Bishop Seabury, Moundridge, Pittsburg-Colgan, Sacred Heart of Salina, Silver Lake and Wichita-Independent.
In two-speaker debate, Class 4A schools are Basehor-Linwood, Buhler, Chanute, Coffeyville, Colby, De Soto, El Dorado, Fort Scott, Independence, Piper, Sumner, Larned, Louisburg, McPherson, Jeff West, Mulvane, Nickerson, Ottawa, Paola, Parsons, Pittsburg, Pratt, Spring Hill, Rock Creek, Tonganoxie, Topeka-Hayden, Topeka-Highland Park, Wichita Collegiate and Wichita-Trinity Academy.
Class 3-2-1A schools in two-speaker debate are Anthony-Harper-Chaparral, Attica, Caney Valley, Ellinwood, Haven, Kingman, Osage City, Scott City, Silver Lake, Sterling and Wichita-Independent.