Novice Debaters dominate Griffin Growl Tournament

Lauren Lee, Staff Reporter

On Apr. 5, debaters traveled to Lake Mary Prep. High School to compete in the Griffin Growl tournament. As the final tournament of the debate season, Griffin Growl included Timber Creek, Lake Mary, and Seminole high schools.

Ten of the debaters placed in award winning positions, with five of the novice debate students taking home first place in their respective debate events. Sophomore Steven Marvin and freshman Stephen Chapman placed first in Public Forum, while junior Madison Erdman took first place in the Impromptu debate, and sophomore Sophie Hill brought home first in Radio Speaking.

Another debate event was the Lincoln-Douglas debate. This debate involves the use of philosophy and logic to convince the judge to affirm or negate the given debate topic, in this case that being whether or not placing political conditions on humanitarian aid is unjust. Sophomore Hannah VanBuren placed first, with sophomore Mira Saad coming in second and sophomore Madeline Ninno in third place.

“I did enjoy this last debate, however it is a lot of work, but still fun and a good experience,” VanBuren said.

The students arrived at 7:30 a.m. with debates starting at 9 a.m. Each debate consisted of four rounds lasting 45 minutes each. The students each went up against one opponent in the coordinated round and delivered their debate.

To prepare, debaters turned in their cases and speeches two weeks before the tournament and then practiced in and out of class. And while their performances varied greatly in content, their resulting standings from the tournament proved the debaters all had strong scripts and well-researched cases across the board.

The Griffon Growl was the last debate of the season for the students, and ended the year on a high note with multiple wins, including a third first place Congressional award to sophomore Gabriel Balasquide’s seasonal streak.

“I enjoyed this specific debate because it was the last one of the year [and] it didn’t have such a serious atmosphere,” Erdman said. “I have made friends with people from other schools that compete in my events, and it’s just been a blast.”