Debate Team succeeds in season tournaments


The Debate Team set their goals high by planning to go to State this season.
Before the team goes off to State, they prepare themselves for the prior tournaments leading to the big competition.
“Usually a month before a tournament, we are sent 12 bills that we need to research,” said sponsor Dustin Zubert.
In order to debate about the topics given, the team works on exercises to increase their knowledge of the proposal.
“We come up with pros and cons of the issue. We also work on speaking drills, such as learning how to ask good questions, how to organize speeches, and not using fillers,” Zubert said.
The Debate Team has competed in two tournaments so far and has received various awards at each.
“TJ Kilcullen has won three Best Speaker Awards, placing him in first in his chamber at all of our tournaments. Ryan Zunker just won the Best Presiding Officer award at our last tournament,” Zubert said.
At the tournament at Elk Grove High School, Kilcullen won a Best Speaker trophy and the Best Presiding Officer gavel. Kilcullen, Zunker and junior Diana Vasquez also participated in a national-qualifying tournament at Glenbrook South High School. Senior TJ Kilcullen finds true passion on the Debate Team and aims for success in his tournaments this year.
“I like the community spirit in debate,” Kilcullen said.
Debate was more than a competition to Kilcullen, it was a true passion. He competed individually at the MinneApple Debate Tournament on November 6-7 where he advanced to the final chamber. According to Kilcullen, debate does not just involve knowledge, it involves leadership.
Debate Team is also a learning experience for its members.
“I love getting the opportunity to learn about current issues and improving my speech skills,” said senior Ryan Zunker.
Both Kilcullen and Zunker set the goal of making it to the official national competition that is located in Kentucky.