The GBHS debate squad took home the First Place Sweepstakes awards in the squad competition and five of the top eight individual team awards at the Dodge City Demon Debate Invitational last Saturday, Nov. 20.
Coach Kim Heath said, “This success was earned! The debaters have been developing new positions and arguments throughout this month and their hard work has paid off. All Great Bend debaters who traveled to Dodge City placed and their combined record made a clear win for the sweepstakes trophy. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The two GBHS novice teams took the top honors with perfect 5-0 records. Sachary Benefield and Aliyah Fryberger placed 2nd and the freshmen team of Darcy Feist and Reese King finished 1st.
The Great Bend open debaters also accumulated wins with their analytical and communication skills. Alondra Alvarez and Milena Carbajal finished in 2nd place in the varsity division. With their 3-1 record, Alvarez and Carbajal qualify for the State 2-Speaker Tournament.
The team of Thomas Henrikson and Xanna Smith were right behind them in 3rd place also with a 3-1 win-loss record. Our seniors, Isaiah Smith and Malachi Wasson ended up 4th. Smith and Wasson have also now accumulated enough wins to qualify for the State 2-Speaker Tournament.
The Great Bend students have been debating this year’s national topic, which is about protecting our water resources, all first semester with varying levels of success. The team has 25 members and about half will travel at a time. Most of the tournaments take place on Saturday. Since the beginning of the 2nd nine weeks, in addition to Dodge City, the team has travelled to Hoisington, McPherson, Salina Sacred Heart and Salina South. At McPherson, the team of Smith and Wasson placed 2nd in varsity while the team of Carbajal and Alvarez were 7th in junior varsity. At the Salina Sacred Heart debate tournament, Feist and King were 4th in novice, and Chrisangel Adame and Maddix Pokorski were 9th in varsity.
The team is taking this week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Next week they will compete in a virtual competition hosted by Wichita Collegiate and an in-person tournament at Clay Center.