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The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

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The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft


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EMHS debate dominates state

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EMHS debate puts forth their best effort and takes victory at state.

The Edmond Memorial High School debate team has put forth their best at the most recent state competition. Being on a debate team allows students to improve their public speaking skills, gain more knowledge on topics involved in competitions, and meet a community of people who share the same passion. On April 10-13, the team traveled to Tulsa University to compete against other Edmond schools and other schools throughout the state such as Jenks and Tulsa Washington. This competition is a chance to show off skills that have been developed all year through various forms of practice and smaller competitions. 

Throughout the year, debaters also participate in different competitions to make sure they are at their very best for state. While practicing in class is good, these smaller competitions help prepare the students for state in a unique way. 

We have eight total qualifying tournaments in a year, and the top three placements in each event qualify you to the regionals tournament. The top eight places or winners in each event qualify you for the State tournament,” debate coach Sara Nichols said. “Qualifying to state means that you are already in the top 16 for your event within the state, which is a huge accomplishment. We also compete at the 6A level, which is the most competitive and difficult degree for sure.”

Debate state competition works in a unique way. Each individual who qualifies in speech is given three preliminary rounds, and if they place top eight, they move on to finals. The state finalist title is given to those who reach the top eight. From there, if one keeps a 3/2 win-loss score, they go to the quarterfinals. Once one is in quarterfinals, participation and succeeding in knock-out rounds lead to first place. Each competition has its own debate topic on which students debate.

Debate is a unique skill, and therefore, it requires unique practice. Debate students practice many different topics in order to prepare for anything competition may throw at them.

“We have practices every Tuesday and Thursday, and we also have our in-class debate,” junior Marketing and Media Captain Olivia Romanson said. “We do multiple practice rounds with different kinds of debate.”

Leadership is a vital part of ensuring the success of any team. Without leadership, a team has nothing to follow. In debate, the coach and the student leadership team help to hold the team accountable and ensure the students are the best they can be. 

“The biggest thing for me this year is that we are continuing to encourage each other and work as a team. It is very easy for us to all go and compete in our individual events and not feel like a team, so we have tried to incorporate group activities and team bonding,” Nichols said. “This has been proven successful in encouraging each other and working together for the benefit of individuals competing, and the entire team.”

This year, the debate team scored multiple awards at state, including multiple state finalist titles in different areas such as Public Forum Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. Debate has put out its best effort this year at state and has taken home a hard-earned victory. Now, eight students from the team are on their way to nationals.

Contact Emma Eischeid at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Emma Eischeid
Emma Eischeid, Staff Writer

Hi, my name is Emma Eischeid and I am a junior. This is my second full year writing for the Ruff Draft staff as a staff member. I joined the newspaper as a freshman because I wanted to try something new and I'm so glad I did. My favorite articles to write are either news or features. In my free time, I love to drive my Jeep, go fishing, and spend time outdoors.