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Two Approaches to The Same Team

Torrez and Garcia pose in front of the state championship banner in the 2022 state championship. This was the first year that Garcia and Torrez were debate partners (Photo provided by L. Torrez).

Adiel Garcia, 12. 

As the final season of debate wrapped up this weekend for Garcia, they share their experience with debate throughout the past four years. 

“Originally I got into debate [by] taking it as a class because I really wanted to be a lawyer when I was older, but that was the main reason why I wanted to debate,” they said. “I wanted to see what argumentation would be like, I wanted to see what I would be arguing about, and just overall prepare myself.”

Although people might assume things about debate as a whole, there are aspects that people might not expect from it. 

“Certain types of argumentation can get pretty philosophical, like the analisis

Garcia and Torrez, along with the rest of the debate team for the 2020 season, prepare for their first year of highschool debate. The season was a bit of a different and rocky start, due to Covid-19 (Photo provided by L. Torrez).

that you have to do and the research you have to do take a lot of time. I stuck with it because I found it to be a really fun activity to do. You have a class, you have people that are supportive, you meet a lot of new friends, and it’s very competitive. [Debate] helps [form] skills that are required for [future] jobs. Debate isn’t just for lawyers. It can help you out with critical thinking, asking questions, or even negotiating. I’ve met people who want to be actors in debate, or activists.”

When having a partner in debate, it is important to know how to work together in order to do the best you can. 

“[I’ve been partners with Luke] ever since sophomore year till now. We both have different styles when we approach debate. We see what we like and what we don’t [of each other’s arguments], and we negotiate what we would run as a negative as well as the affirmative. We would calibrate a lot more into what would be successful and what we need to find. It helps with researching and also friendship because we found that we like a lot of stuff in common.”

With these tournaments marking the end of Garcia’s high school debate career, they explain what might come next and what skill will carry over after high school. 

“I’ll probably use the skills I learned from debate for research and studying, basic skills that I am going to need in college. But I also think [I will use them] for job interviews and trying to see what answer they are trying to get out of me. In terms of the actual debating, I hope I will be able to do college debate, [but] I don’t know if I want to or will.”

Luke Torrez, 12. 

As the final season of debate wrapped up this weekend for Luke Torrez, 12, they share their experience with debate throughout the past four years. 

“I was looking for something that I could take, like an extracurricular. [I wanted] an extracurricular activity to fill that spot. And my dad told me about debate and how they found success in it. I kind of just took it, and from there I just really enjoyed it.”

With debate being a time consuming extracurricular activity, many give up on the extracurricular and don’t commit to doing it their entire high school career. This was not the case for Torrez, although they had similar thoughts. 

“[It’s] funny because there have been times I wanted to quit because it’s so demanding with how much work you have to put into it. But I stuck with it because… I don’t even really know why I stuck with it,” Torrez said. “I guess because my dad kept encouraging me and my debate partner, Adiel Garcia, has

Quinten Vasser, 12, Benjamin Beckwith, 12, and Torrez review a stance of an argument before a debate tournament. This photo was from the 2022-2023 debate season (Photo provided by L. Torrez).

encouraged me to stick with it…  I enjoy it every year and it’s kind of fun.”

On Jan. 5 and 6, Torrez and their debate partner, Adiel Garcia, 12, competed in the Kansas Debate Championship, also known as KDC. KDC is a tournament where teams from 1A to 6A can compete, as long as you have won two thirds of your rounds throughout the year. 

“[At] KDC, we broke to octafinals, but lost at octafinals to a team that went to semi-finals. We weren’t even expecting to go to octafinals; we kind of just went because we wanted to practice for the state debate tournament. We were really rusty because we hadn’t debated in, like, a month. It was just kind of a test run, but we did find success in it.”

However, the team went to the State Debate Tournament on Jan. 12 and 13. KDC and the state tournament were very different types of tournaments according to Torrez. 

“State debate was a larger tournament… It was actually easier than KDC, but we went 6-0 in the prelims before we moved to finals. In the finals we won a round. Then we broke to quarter-finals and we lost. The team we lost to was the team that won state.”

Due to the amount of snow days that the high school has had recently, there were doubts of making it to state. 

“We were a bit worried we weren’t going to go because of the snow and the school cancellations. We did end up going, and we really thought… We didn’t know how we were going to do.”

Although there were some doubts on whether or not they would make it to state, Torrez considered the tournament a good ending to their debate career. 

“I’m most proud of how we did at state. Everyone knows about state, because every activity has a state championship. We also did better at state too. And I got a KSHA metal too, which was cool. So we’re proud of that, me and Adiel.” 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Mueller, Copy Editor
Hi, my name is Hannah Mueller and this is my second year in SPUB and I am one of our copy editors this year. I am so excited to be more creative with my stories and designing this year, as well as be a voice for our student body. Journalism matters to me because everyone's voice needs a chance to be heard and many topics are important but aren't talked about. Other than journalism, I am involved with theater and volleyball. I also enjoy reading and hanging out with my friends. I am beyond excited to see what is to come for this year.

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