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Debate team prepares for Tournament of Champions

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Debate team prepares for Tournament of Champions

Sophomore Emma Lankford practices delivering her CON speech for Public Forum practice.

Sophomore Emma Lankford practices delivering her CON speech for Public Forum practice.

Sam Heie

Sophomore Emma Lankford practices delivering her CON speech for Public Forum practice.

Sam Heie

Sam Heie

Sophomore Emma Lankford practices delivering her CON speech for Public Forum practice.

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As the Shenandoah Valley Forensics League (ShenVaFL) season comes to a close, the debate team has began preparations for the final cumulative Tournament of Champions (TOC). The tournament consists of teams that have reached the top six places at one or more of the qualifying tournaments throughout the season. Senior Public Forum co-captain William Daniel is not competing at the final tournament, but has been preparing the team for the past several weeks.

“We’ve just been running practices like we normally do. We finished up cases earlier than usual and so we’ve had more time in practice to run mock debates to get the competitors ready,” Daniel said.

Daniel focuses on Public Forum in his role as captain, a form of debate that focuses on practicality and policy. The resolution for Public Forum for the tournament pertains to national debt and economic growth.

“There’s been some resolution this year that we didn’t like too much. A lot of them were either too vague or way too specific and irrelevant. This topic just happens to be one of our favorites and it just happens to be the same month as TOC,” Daniel said.

Although the topic is likeable, Daniel and the debate team have struggled to get a full understanding of the resolution.

“The resolution is pretty difficult to understand. You need to be able to understand the basic functions of economics and that’s a lot easier said than done. We’ve done a lot of research though and it’s going to payoff at the tournament,” Daniel said.

Senior Lincoln Douglas co-captain Ganna Aboutabl has been preparing the other side of the team for competition. Lincoln Douglas’ topic pertains to military aid to authoritarian regimes.

“The [current] topic is really interesting, especially with everything that’s going on in the world right now. There was a lot of talk after Jamal Khashoggi was killed about the U.S. stopping funding Saudi Arabia’s military, and so this topic is coming at a perfect time,” Aboutabl said.

Aboutabl believes that the team is well prepared for the tournament on Jan. 26.

“The team has had a really good season with a lot of individual and team wins,” Aboutabl said. “Our delivery has gotten better and the research we’ve put in has put us in a position to do well. Personally, this might be my last tournament as a senior so I’m trying to go out with a bang.”

 

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