Chesterton Tribune



CHS Debate season underway

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Early Saturday morning members of the CHS Debate team boarded a bus for the traditional kickoff to the season.

“Munster traditionally hosts a novice-only competition to help ease first year students into this difficult activity,” said coach Chris Lowery. Varsity team members are able to assist for the first two rounds before turning the new competitors loose for the second half of the tournament.

Chesterton had an extremely large entry as over fifty members of the team attended the tournament.

The largest event at the competition, Lincoln-Douglas, was also the event in which the team enjoyed the most success.

Bella Auricchio came in first vs. twenty-seven other competitors. She was closely joined by teammate Andrea Hardesty in third place. Both ladies were undefeated in the competition and the tie was broken on the speaker points that each had accumulated in their rounds. Students debated a topic about the desirability and fairness of a compulsory program of national service in the United States.

Chesterton also won the Congressional Debate division. Sanjana Raj swept the judges’ ballots to take home the title of tournament champion. Mikayla Herko was able to score enough marks with the judges to take home seventh place overall. Students argued for and against legislation that would ban fracking, provide paid family leave, and fund mental health programs in schools.

The team had two of the top five performances in Public Forum. Fourteen teams competed in this division with the pair of Nick Hanson and Jenna Aguilar finishing third as well as the team of Charlie Skube and Delano Davison coming in fifth. Competitors discussed whether the installation of a missile defense system would be in South Korea’s best interest.

Chesterton had four teams finish in the top eight in Policy Debate. The top pair for Chesterton were Karina Martinez and Gianna Galente (4th), who were followed by Miles Janowiak and Justine Kizer (5th), Dillon Kendall and Shae Hisaw (7th), and Josh Drew and Juan Ponce (8th). Teams in this division will spend the entire year debating reforms to US Education policy.

Other debaters that made their debut included Savannah Costello in Congress; Allison Soblotne, Hattie Hoham, Hunter Stewart, Zach Bell, Cristi Pala, and Ian Quinn in Lincoln-Douglas, Ethan Dibble and Ryan Donovan in policy, and Alex Szmutko and Luke Vetroczky in public forum debate. Along with a large contingent of varsity members helping Jackson Fleming observed in preparation for making his debut later this season. This season marks the fiftieth year for the Speech and Debate Program at Chesterton High School.

The debate team is coached by CHS staff members Chris Lowery, Josh Coots, and Dakota McCoy. They are assisted by community members Kaley Brown and Mike Anderson. The team has won the last four state titles in Debate as well as last year’s state title in Speech.


Posted 10/9/2017




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