Seniors Compete at UIL State Debate Competition

Seniors Anthony Wyatt, Ronak Desai and Evan Bewersdorf sit in a sub-committee chamber at the state Congressional Debate competition. This is the second year all three of them have competed in this event.

Seniors Evan Bewersdorf, Ronak Desai and Anthony Wyatt competed in the University Interscholastic League State congressional debate competition on January 9 and 10. All three competitors advanced to finals, with Bewersdorf taking home fifth place overall.

“I was extremely proud of them,” speech and debate coach Rory McKenzie said. “I thought that they did so well. We had hoped for better results, but I think as a coach when you can evaluate the amount of effort and work that went in to it, you’re pleased no matter what.”

To qualify for state, the debaters wanting a spot must compete at a regional meet. Only the top three places overall advance, which Bewersdorf, Desai and Wyatt received this year, with junior Ashlyn Elgass claiming the alternate spot.

“It was absolutely wonderful to be able to compete not only with my friends from Lindale but my friends across Texas,” Bewersdorf said. “I know I am able to work well with all of these individuals, and the competition [was] more fun than anything else.”

I was extremely proud of them. I thought that they did so well. I think as a coach when you can evaluate the amount of effort and work that went in to it, you’re pleased no matter what.”

— Rory McKenzie

Bewersdorf’s success at state gave Lindale six points towards its 2018 UIL total. The points will go toward the school’s chance at repeating a state championship title.

“State will encompass academics, the rest of speech and debate, theater, film, essay contests and lots of different things that will all go in to it,” McKenzie said. “We have a little ground to catch up, but we can catch up in some of the other areas.”

Congressional debate functions similarly to state and national legislatures. Competitors are given an agenda of legislation in December and prepare arguments for both sides to present at the competition.

“I have been studying current events, writing speeches and practicing my speaking abilities,” Bewersdorf said. “Also, I have been working with Ronak and Anthony to make sure we are all prepared and able to have symbiosis.”