5A State Debate Champions

Jordan Koerperich

Sugar Beet staff reporter

The Lions have proved they are the king of the debate ring. Garden City High School hosted the 6A and 5A state debate tournament for the third time in its history, which the Lansing high school Lions qualified for and attended. They drove 375 miles just for a chance to win the gold trophy. Their efforts were rewarded: this year in the 109th annual state tournament the Lansing Lions have taken home first prize in the two-speaker contest. These two students were Maddie Atkins (sophomore) and Salem Clemens (senior).

“We did many things to prepare for state,” said Maddie, “We researched a variety of topics and different arguments. We also did a lot of practice debates with our team. Going into the tournament we didn’t expect to win. However, we were we were proud of our preparation and pretty confident that we would do well at the tournament overall.”

In the 5A division of the tournament there were about 54 debate team competing for first place. In Class 5A, the four-speaker qualifying schools include Andover Central, Goddard-Eisenhower, Lansing, Newton, Salina-South, Topeka-Shawnee Heights, Topeka-West and the defending champion Blue Valley-Southwest. The Lions also won the state championship in 1997.

“We did lots of research,” said Salem, “We researched new arguments and the current political events surrounding immigration and gave tons of practice speeches. I thought we would at least advance to elimination rounds at the tournament, we were somewhat confident going in – but as we began to advance and beat better and better teams our confidence grew.”

Salem has two seasons left of high school debate. Only time will tell if she can defend her hard earned title.

Jordan Koerperich is a trade and health academy junior. You can contact him at koerperichj@student.gckschools.com.

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