Debate team to start competition
Steamboat Springs — As the Steamboat Springs High School fall sports season is quickly coming to a close, a different type of Sailors team is just beginning its five-month long competition.
The Steamboat debate team will begin its season Saturday as it travels to Moffat County High School to debate, cross examine, present and perform.
In its 22nd year, the team has 16 students that will compete in one or two of the nine possible categories at this weekend’s tournament in Craig.
With three seniors and incoming freshmen to replace last year’s graduates, coach Shauna Lamansky said this year’s team is well balanced.
She said she also is expecting her team to build on the success of last year, which had 10 members continue on to the state level and finish with three state semi-finalists. Ben MacCarthy is the only semi-finalist to return to this year’s team.
“I think we are going to do really well. We’re very diverse in terms of age and in terms of balance between categories,” Lamansky said.
Lamansky, who coaches the team with her husband, Marty, said it was particularly important to have students in each category because team points are gathered in all the competitions.
The students can compete in different forms of public speaking that mixes debates, speeches and performance.
In the debate category, students can participate in the Lincoln/Douglas style competition that focuses on philosophical, ethical and moral arguments. Until January, students in this category will be debating if lesser-developed nations should have development take priority over the environment.
Students also have the option of competing in the cross-examination debate where students will use public policy to argue if the United States should develop foreign policy regarding the use of weapons of mass destruction.
There are also two categories for public speaking; students can deliver an original oratory persuasion piece or a limited preparation speech on either a national or world current event. The student will be given the topic 30 minutes before they deliver the speech.
In the interpretation category, students can perform plays in the drama or humor category or a poetry reading.
The final category is impromptu speaking where students have five minutes to prepare a speech that incorporates a random word, phrase and sentence.
The team has been working for more than a month preparing for its upcoming round of competition. Participating in 14 events throughout the year, the team’s goals are to return students to the state competition and to qualify students for the national debate tournament sponsored by the National Forensic League.
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