Chesterton Tribune

Photo: CHS Debate Team wins 15th state championship, 7th in row

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State Champions: The Chesterton High School Debate team won its 15th state championship, the seventh in a row, over the weekend. CHS entered 25 competitors in four events and 24 of them advanced to the elimination rounds. Members of the State championship Speech and Debate team are pictured here. Left to right are Emma Klein, Kristin Totten, Katelyn Holsclaw, Bethany Bey, Emily Lawson, Jessica Recchia, Val Brown and Alison Scribailo. Second row, Patricia Podguski, Courtney Cassler, Paige Himes, Tim Ebert, Miranda Collins, Ali Retson and Ben Blohm. Back row, Kyle Huber, Matt Mishler, Mike Frost, Kevin Weaver, Ryan Anderson, Doug Thorne, Mike Dunlap and Tim Zervos. Absent from photo are Erin Potrzebowsi and Amy Zehner. (Photo provided)


State champion public forum team, Ryan Anderson and Mike Dunlap


Chesterton High School won the State Debate Championship for the 15th time, seventh in a row, this past weekend at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. Twenty-six schools competed.

Chesterton entered 25 competitors in four events and 24 of them broke out of preliminary competition to advance to the elimination rounds. Chesterton scored 70 points; Brebeuf Prep School came in second with 37 points. Final tabulation was still going on late Saturday evening. The CHS Team returned home at 1a.m.

Winners include:

Public Forum Debate

Ryan Anderson and Mike Dunlap beat West Lafayette High School in the final round to claim the state championship. This is the first year that this debate event was offered at the tournament. Ben Blohm and Doug Thorne broke to quarterfinals; Ali Retson and Miranda Collins and Paige Himes and Courtney Cassler broke to octafinals.

Policy Debate

Matt Mishler and Emily Lawson made it to the final round of the tournament and lost on a 3-2 decision to Concord High School and thus took second place. Tim Ebert and Val Brown broke to quarterfinals; Kevin Weaver and Jessica Recchia and Emma Klein and Bethany Bey broke to octafinals.

Congressional Debate

Kyle Huber, Patricia Podguski, and Erin Potrzebowski all broke to the final round of competition. Huber took fifth place; Podguski took sixth; and Potrzebowski, eighth. Mike Frost broke to semifinals.


Katelyn Holsclaw broke to quarterfinals; Tim Zervos, Alison Scribailo, and Kristin Totten all broke to octafinals.

The competition began Friday evening with two preliminary rounds and a third round on Saturday morning. All competitors participate in the preliminary rounds but only the top sixteen proceed to the elimination round of octafinals. Elimination rounds are single loss elimination. There are four debate events: Policy Team Debate; Public Forum Team Debate; Lincoln-Douglas; and Congressional.

Chesterton High School debaters who participated in the meet include:

Lincoln-Douglas, Kristin Totten, Tim Zervos, Alison Scribailo and Katelyn Holsclaw.

Public Forum: Ben Blohm and Doug Thorne, Paige Himes and Courtney Cassler, Ryan Anderson and Mike Dunlap and Ali Retson and Miranda Collins.

Congress: Erin Potrzebowski, Kyle Huber, Patricia Podguski, Mike Frost, Amy Zehner.

Policy: Jessica Recchia and Kevin Weaver, Emma Klein and Bethany Bey, Val Brown and Tim Ebert, Matt Mishler and Emily Lawson.

“Numerous parents and graduates joined us this weekend to either support the team and/or judge for the tournament while supporting our kids. The coaching staff was great. Chris Lowery is a first year coach and had his first state champion crowned this weekend. There will be many more. Carol Biel and Dave Blumenthal did a great job with the Lincoln-Douglas kids. I am very proud of all of them along with my congress and policy debaters. Thanks to the community and Duneland School Corporation for their support,” said Jim Cavallo, coach.


Posted 2/9/2004