Debate team places sixth at Shawnee Mission Northwest competition

Six debate students competed in the Shawnee Mission Northwest High School debate competition on Saturday, Oct. 31

In+Advanced+Debate%2C+senior+Jack+Booth+helps+junior+Sydney+Hall+with+a+counter+plan+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+29%2C+in+preparation+for+the+meet+at+Shawnee+Mission+Northwest+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+31.+

By Margaret Mellott

In Advanced Debate, senior Jack Booth helps junior Sydney Hall with a counter plan on Thursday, Oct. 29, in preparation for the meet at Shawnee Mission Northwest on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Tricia Drumm, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

The debate team competed at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School on Saturday, Oct. 31, placing sixth.

As a pair, senior Karla Kim and junior Tom McClain went 4-1 while all other pairs seniors Rohit Biswas and Jack Booth, junior Sydney Hall and sophomore Allison Winker and seniors Kelly Gothard and T-Ying Lin all went 2-3.

This year, the debate team is arguing about domestic surveillance.

Once the competition was over, McClain felt good about the team’s performance.

“Overall, we usually come away pretty satisfied,” McClain said. “We usually place at a meet, but today, we did not. [The team] did good individually, so that’s OK.”

As an individual, Kim said she felt like she performed the same as she always does.

“I’m always trying to do my best,” Kim said via phone. “I think last time I improved more because Tom explained to me about these theories that I didn’t really understand before, but now I do.”

While he was competing, McClain described his feeling while competing as being “in the zone.”

“Sometimes [the other team] gets a little snippy during the round, but for the most part you are trying to tell the judge what you want to say,” McClain said.

McClain also thinks he and Kim make a good team together.

“What we tend to do is I let Karla handle the more down-to-earth arguments, whereas I tend to focus on the theory aspects of the debate and the more intangible parts of the round,” McClain said.

Kim agrees that she and McClain work well together, but for a different reason.

“Tom and I are an odd team because our personalities are really different. Tom … wants to dominate people and cross examine, whereas I am more of the type that is low key and trying to be polite to everyone,” Kim said. “Other Mill Valley debate teams are really good, but they are all similar in personalities and debate styles.”

Kim thinks the team as a whole has a very good understanding of the debate.

“Overall, we know the foundations of [debate]. so we don’t have to call abuse or any of those things,” Kim said. “[Communication arts teacher Jeanette] Hardesty in class practices. The kids are forced to put themselves out there and talk. There is nobody even judging. It’s just a friendly environment.”

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