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Great Bend debate team places third at Bishop Carroll
new deh GBHS debate pic web
Pictured are members of the Great Bend High School debate team. In the back row are Courtney Seever, Sylvia Ofoma, Brittany Krieger and coach Barbara Watson; middle row, Alex Smith, Erica Schwager, Michael Gieck and Kelci Kearns; and the front row, Trina Schlotthauer. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Great Bend high school debate team traveled to Bishop Carroll High School, Wichita, and tied for third overall in sweepstakes with Moundridge. There were 22 other schools at the tournament. Moundridge and Great Bend both had 11 wins and four losses on the school’s total win-loss record. The tie was broken by the school’s opposition record.

In novice division, Erica Schwager and Trina Schlotthauer placed eighth out of 37 teams with 4-1 win-loss record. "This was an amazing experience," said Schwager. "I’m very sad to say this is my last tournament as a panther. I will miss my team greatly."

In junior varsity, second-year debater Alex Smith and first-year debater Michael Gieck placed fourth out of 27 teams with a 4-1 win-loss record. "I love going to JV tournaments because it challenges me," said Gieck.

Two more novices debated in the junior varsity division, Sylvia Ofoma and Courtney Seever. They had a 3-2 win-loss record, losing to the first-place, undefeated team in the last round. "It was a good experience competing against more experienced debaters," said Ofoma. "I learned a lot and became a better debater."

Brittany Krieger and Kelci Kearns debated in novice division and finished with a 2-3 win-loss record, also helping the team overall in sweepstakes.

"This was a very competitive tournament with a different style of debate than what the team competed with during the past three tournaments," said Great Bend debate coach Barbara Watson. "The Western Kansas style of debate has more logical arguments and persuasive speaking, whereas the Wichita area style has more complicated and structured arguments. I think it is a good opportunity for my debaters to learn to debate and adapt to different styles and judges. I was very pleased with how my students adapted and competed at the tournament."