Debate Team advances with each tournament

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As the season continues, the Debate Team progresses more and more to grow to improve on their abilities.
The Debate Team has had tournaments and meets where they show what they’ve learned and what they are capable of. Due to the importance of building relationships throughout the team, they have been using this season to progress as a team that works together and that knows each other.
“Our season so far is really based on building the team. We only have one senior right now active on the team; in fact everybody at the practice yesterday was a freshman. So in some ways it’s a good thing, for two to three years from now, I hope we can keep growing,” said head coach Dustin Zubert.
Tournaments for the team are held every month, and they only have one or two representatives from the school. They all make speeches and present their research while judges pick apart things they do and determine appropriate scoring.
“At a tournament, there are nine issues, we call them bills, so nine issues to research. So the month before, you research those and figure ‘Hey, should we increase this tax? Should we give or cut this country aid?’ It’s like that sort of thing. The issues are written by students from all over the Chicago area. So a tournament is where there are about 20 people in a classroom, usually from 20 different schools, and you go through a series of 20 minute speeches,” Zubert said. “There are questions in between speeches. Everyone’s competing against everyone; it’s not like a team thing really. There’s probably only one person from Grayslake North there. So you’re competing against yourself essentially and you’re getting scores on your speeches and to some degree scores on the questions and your participation in the room.”
Practices for the Debate Team work as drills. They try to make speeches and try to see how much research they need to do, or if what they’ve done is enough.
“One way I make sure my research is good is that I try to do a speech with it, and if I can’t then I look for what I need,” said senior Anish Naik.
“So really it’s two things: it’s research and then it’s speaking drills. So like last week at practice we did a thing about using gestures. So I could talk with my hands here, or I could talk with my hands out here. So usually gestures help to emphasize your point as opposed to people who are playing with their hair or whatever, distracting from their speech. Gestures wouldn’t make your speech good, but they would help make it more effective.”
The Debate Team had a recent tournament where they did very well, and Anish Naik, a member of the Debate Team, won a place by the judges.
“At the tournament I am at right now, Jan 26 at Hersey HS, Anish Naik won a Best Presiding Officer award as well.”

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