Debate Team takes first in Open Division at Topeka High Tournament

Kaitlin Clark, Blue M Managing Editor

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For the Manhattan High Debate Team, another tournament means another chance to take home a victory.

The debate partners Caden Hickel and Will Bannister won first place against Lawrence in the open division of the tournament.

“The tournament was a great experience, and really was a team effort,” Will Bannister, sophomore, said.

Their victory was at first, however, thought to be a loss.

“[The judge] actually messed up who won at first, and they said that we got second at first, but the judge put down the wrong person,” Trinity Brockman, sophomore, said. “So Manhattan actually did win, which at first was really disappointing obviously since we thought we didn’t win at first, but realizing we won made the team come more closer together, and you know, we can be a successful team together as freshmen and upperclassmen.”

The Topeka High Tournament was a learning opportunity for debaters who may not have a large amount of experience yet.

“This tournament was my first open tournament instead of novice, so the teams were pretty good, but there were a lot more competitive teams than usual,” Manseeb Hossain, sophomore, said.  “[I’ve learned to] always address every argument and that speed isn’t a necessity, it is about how smooth or fluent you read.”

Even debate students who have had more experience found this tournament a challenge.

“This tournament was especially hard for me and my partner, Cameron Marshall, because we tried a new style of debate and it didn’t seem to pay off but it’s still a learning experience,” Sorton said.

Manhattan High’s next tournament will be this upcoming Friday and Saturday at Shawnee High.

After their hard work, the debate team was happy to see it all pay off.

“We took a great group of people,” Cailyn Sorton, sophomore, said. “We did really well this weekend.”

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