Freshmen Novice Debaters Start the New Season With Mentors


Photo by Alec Morton

Freshmen, Ryliee Ortiz, speaks during a mini-debate. She, as well as other new debaters, are preparing for their first tournaments.

The speech and debate teams welcomed incoming freshmen at an orientation meeting August 23. With the graduation of a large number of seniors, these first-year debaters will have a very active role on the team.

“We hope that the incoming freshmen will get into the class, start staying after school and see the value in the program,” debate coach Rory Mckenzie said. “With the system we have set in place to help the freshmen, we hope that they will be able to start contributing early.”

Freshmen are required to learn and attempt every speech and debate event during their debate class period. The exposure gives students an informed decision on which event they want to do.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the Lindale debate team,” freshman Aryan Patel said. “I put in a lot of work and hope to become a great debater.”

I truly believe the sky’s the limit with this group of kids.””

— Rory Mckenzie

Varsity juniors and seniors are expected to help guide the new debaters in the right direction. Upperclassmen will pair up with a freshmen to mentor in their respective events.

“I am so excited to help these young debaters find what they are passionate about,” junior Jeremy Guidotti said. “I can remember the tough times of my freshman year, but also the upperclassman who taught me how things work. I hope I get to have the same impact with this year’s freshman.”

The new freshmen have more information, opportunities and help than ever before. This allows them to have the upperhand in competition during the upcoming year.

“I’ve been overwhelmed in such a positive way by the freshman I have in class,” Mckenzie said. “They came into the class with lots of interest. I truly believe the sky’s the limit with this group of kids.”