Spring break cut short for some debate students

Speech and debate qualifiers will have to cut their spring break short to drive out to the University of Texas at Austin to compete in the Cross Examination debate tournament.

Michelle Stoddart

Speech and debate qualifiers will have to cut their spring break short to drive out to the University of Texas at Austin to compete in the Cross Examination debate tournament.

Andie Hughes , Staff Reporter

While spring break is seen as a time for relaxation for most, four students will not have that pleasure as they will be competing at the state UIL Cross Examination debate tournament. Students Stewart Cannon, Stu Mair, Jolen Martinez, and Matthew Norwood qualified for state UIL at a tournament in January when they placed first and third.

The two teams will be leaving early Thursday morning for the University of Texas at Austin campus, where the tournament is being held. They will begin their debate rounds against other 5A qualifying teams on Friday with all the action streamed live.

“They really prepare all year long,” Parker said. “They got this topic last spring and some of them went to summer camp to start preparing. Then we go to six to eight tournaments throughout the year so that way we’re prepared for this January tournament that determines whether you go to state or not.”

With debate members also recently competing in another state competition, spring is a very important time for the debate team.

“Just like other sports, if you look at our season as a whole, those beginning tournaments in August or September through February are our preliminaries and then in the spring it’s playoff,” Parker said.

Also like other sports, it is often times a team effort.

“Well going [to Austin] it’s mainly going to be supporting the team that did make it,” alternate Jolen Martinez said. “We supply them with information and evidence so they can debate better when they get to the tournament.”