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Great Bend High School hosts debate invitationa
Panther Debaters at Sterling this weekend were, back row: Theo Hopkinson-Smith, Analeah Ochs and Lea Nokes; front row: Rebeca Rodriguez, Jay Creamer and Dixie Gallant.

The GBHS Panther Debate Squad would like to thank everyone who helped with their annual debate invitational, coach Kim Health said. On Saturday, Oct. 1, about 100 debaters from 15 different schools competed in two divisions at the tournament held in Great Bend. The tournament was won by Hutchinson, followed by Dodge City and Salina Central.

“The team is very grateful for those who helped by judging rounds,” Heath said. “The visiting coaches were quite pleased with the ballots and feedback their debaters received. Because local community members and third- and fourth-year debaters do the judging, Panther debaters did not compete. The invitational was managed by the students who served as judges, timekeepers, hospitality managers, judge schedulers, ballot runners, tabulators and award presenters.  

“It is a joy to see the students step up and take pride in hosting a great event,” Heath said. “Our students learned so much today about handling problems independently and interacting with the public. I am so proud of their efforts.”

Also on Saturday, a small group of students represented Great Bend at the Sterling Invitational. Lea Nokes, Dixie Gallant, Analeah Ochs and Rebeca Rodriguez competed for the first time this season in the Junior Varsity Division. Jay Creamer and Theo Hopkinson-Smith placed 4th in the Novice Division, compiling a record of three wins and one loss.

The next two weekends will find the Panther Debaters in Salina at Sacred Heart High School and then at Hoisington High School.