On Jan. 10 and 11 two novices from the Great Bend High School debate squad traveled to the Novice State Championship Debate tournament. The whole novice squad qualified with a 50-percent win/loss record at least five invitational tournaments, but most were unable to attend due to other school activities.
Kris Gieck and Aaron Miller were the two novices representing Great Bend at state. They finished out the tournament with a 3-2 win loss record and barely missed breaking into the next division. They competed against over 100 other teams.
On Jan. 17 and 18 the GBHS debate squad competed at Blue Valley High School in the four-Speaker 5A Debate Championship Tournament. This tournament consisted of the top nine 5A schools in the state. Previously, the squad had earned their chance at competing in this tournament by qualifying at their regional debate tournament.
The regional tournament was held on Dec. 21 at Salina South High School, where the team placed third. The debate squad consisted of Makinna Dykes, Michael Gieck, Kris Gieck, Kameko Gieck, Carter Sheffield and Jordan Stoulil. After eight competitive rounds over two days, the team finished with a combined record of 6-10.
The squad placed sixth overall. Gieck said, “With it being my final debate tournament, I wanted to win it all but settling for Great Bend being the sixth best school in the state is fine with me.”
The entire experienced debate squad qualified to the two-speaker state tournament with at least a 50 percent win/loss record at least five varsity invitational tournaments. But the four-speaker State Debate Tournament always takes top priority with the top nine 5A schools qualifying to State at the four-speaker regional tournaments with all schools debating each other on both sides of the issue.
“Our squad was happy to qualify to the state debate tournament,” coach Barbara Watson said. Following the success of their debate season the squad will be cleaning out their boxes and switching over to forensics as they prepare to compete in their first forensics tournament of the season on Jan. 25.