Speech and Debate Transitions Back to Traditional Format

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Jaxson Buttram

Mr. McKenzie is lecturing debate students to get them ready for the school year.

Jaxson Buttram, Staff Writer

The speech and debate team is preparing to switch their competitions from virtual to traditional. Last year, the team was not able to compete in person due to the Covid-19.

“It’s still a brand new world,” coach Rory McKenzie said. “I think so much of it just stems from how willing [students] are to jump in.”

This year will be focused on trying to get everyone back in a normal setting, but for some it will be their first year for normal competitions.

“The teachers have even touched on the fact that we kind of have to do freshman year a second time when it comes to debate,” sophomore Jakob Davenport said. “We didn’t get as much experience as they would have liked us to.”

Virtual competition has certain advantages such as not having to travel and having more preparation time beforehand. However, these competitions make it to where students aren’t as able to make friends or get the help they need from other coaches and students from other schools.

“I think the experience as a whole is going to be a little bit different,” sophomore Aden Ramsey said. “I think some people may find out that they prefer the in-person over virtual.”

Being in an in-person environment also ensures that the competition is as close to a real world scenario as possible and fair. Last year there was some uncertainty about how to deal with internet issues and other technology disadvantages that are taken out of the question in a traditional environment.

“I’m so excited,” sophomore Reese Berthiaume said. “I can’t even express how happy I am to experience debate in a new way.”