The debate team traveled to the University of Texas at Austin on December 4th to compete in a tournament on campus December 5th and 6th. We started out our journey with a wonderful tour of the TX State Capitol including the dome way at the top arranged through our representative Bryan Hughes. Then we competed at the Longhorn Classic. This tournament featured nine different states (Texas, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona, and New York). In Championship Policy Debate, nearly 140 teams competed. For (I believe) the first time in our school’s history, we had a team advance to the Top 32 where they fell to the eventual tournament champions and the currently ranked #1 team in the country (from Louisiana). Cody Gustafson and Barron Wolter accomplished this feat by beating teams from Coppell (6A), Bellaire (6A), Houston Memorial (6A), and Montgomery (5A). Alec Ramsey and Jonas Thrasher-Evers nearly made it two teams in one year, but finished 38th overall beating teams from Los Alamos (New Mexico), St. Mary’s Hall (twice, private school in San Antonio), and Airline (Louisiana). Our other varsity teams each won at least won round and gained some very valuable experience in their first national tournament.

We also had some freshmen novice competitors compete as well. Ronak Desai and Anthony Wyatt advanced to the top 16 of their division narrowly dropping a decision to a team from Clear Lake (6A) who made the final four. Robert McWhorter and Konnor Scott also nearly advanced as well.