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  • Writer's pictureAcacia Blyth

How the Debate Team Dominated at the February HSL Qualifiers

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

On Friday the 18th, Parker School Debate team began the February HSL Qualifier tournament, otherwise known as IDTs. Unlike the previous qualifying tournament, Parker School ended up entering three separate categories for IDT’s, Policy, Public Forum, and Lincoln Douglas (LD). The policy teams included Arthur Taylor and Marty Kauaa, Tatum Bailey and Taylor Reyes, Ed Wessel and Violet Freeney, and Maddy Weigle and Sophie Weigle.

In Public Forum Parker had six teams, Isabella Russo and Mathew Shamwell, Hayde Decerjat and Rolands Barkans, Briana Hunt and Gibson McIntosh , Elwin Futrell Shotts and David Wan, Kaya Long and Lucas Koranda, Ramsey Hauanio and Rebecca Tang, and Genevieve Savage and Everett Gordon. Lastly, for LD there were seven competitors from Parker, Riley Todd, Lui Kamoshita-Langan, Kohki Miyazaki, Kyle Groves, Teghan Price, and Acacia Blyth.

Between this tournament and the last, Public Forum and LD were both given new topics. LD now had “The appropriation of Outer Space by private entities is unjust”. While Public Forum was, “On balance, Turkey’s membership is beneficial to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” The policy teams continued to debate the resolution “The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States' “, which has been their topic for the 2021-22 debate year.

After spending weeks preparing frontlines, polishing cases, and practicing, the Parker School Debate team entered the first round of the February Qualifying tournament at 4:30pm on Friday evening. The tournament went on for the next three hours, with competitors completing their first two rounds of the tournament at 7:30pm. The next day some returned to school, while some debated from their homes, and IDTs resumed at 8:00am. That Saturday, debaters only had three preliminary rounds, along with the two from Friday evening to determine who was to break at the tournament.

By 1:30pm everyone was out of their preliminary rounds, except for one Parker Public Forum team. In their final round they had gone up against a team who had questionable evidence and in turn Parker decided to call an evidence challenge. After the challenge was made and the round was completed all that was left to do was anxiously wait for results to be posted. With it being an HSL circuit that meant that everyone had to wait until at least 5:00pm. During the three and a half hour wait time students occupied themselves with Wordle, revising cases, and card games. Not only that, but during this time the HSL was working through the evidence challenge that was made during the preliminary rounds.

As 5:00pm rolled around postings finally came out, for most. In JV policy Arthur Taylor and Marty Kauaa, Taylor Reyes and Tatum Bailey all broke. In varsity policy Ed Wessel and Violet Freeney, and Maddy Weigle and Sophie Weigle broke. In beginner Public Forum Ewlin Futrell Shotts and David Wan, Briana Hunt and Gibson McIntosh, and Isabella Russo and Mathew Shamwell broke. In champion LD Teghan Price broke.

Unfortunately, advanced Public Forum postings did not come out until 7:30pm. This was due to the evidence challenge that was taking place. In a span of three hours Parker was finally able to win the challenge, but the opposing team then tried to appeal the act. In the end Parker won and the team was disqualified for manipulated evidence. Once the evidence challenge came to a close postings were released to the advanced Public Forum teams that broke. For Parker School Rebecca Tang and Ramsey Hauanio, Lucas Koranda and Kaya Long, and Everett Gordon and Genevieve Savage all broke.

Finally, at 8:40pm the final round of the February HSL Qualifiers came to a close. Later that evening the awards ceremony Zoom was posted and students, coaches, and judges attended to learn the final results of the tournament. For varsity Policy Maddy Weigle and Sophie Weigle took 1st place with Ed Wessel and Violet Freeney coming in 2nd. In JV policy Arthur Taylor and Marty Kaaua ranked 1st and Taylor Reyes and Tatum Bailey took 2nd.

For the advanced Public Forum category, Everett Gordon and Genevieve Savage won 1st place with Lucas Koranda and Kaya Long coming in a close 2nd, and Rebecca Tang and Ramsey Hauanio took 4th place. In beginner Public Forum Elwin Futrell Shotts and David Wan placed 1st, Briana Hunt and Gibson McIntosh took 2nd, and Isabella Russo and Mathew Shamwell placed 4th. Lastly, for champion LD Teagon Price ranked 4th. In the end, with such an incredible outcome the Parker School Debate Team won the Sweepstakes category and took home 1st place in the February HSL Qualifiers.

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