The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Debate team improves with experience, to compete in Berkner Dec. 13, 14

Cooper Meldrum
Freshmen Devon Larimer and Marco Laos practice for the upcoming meet.

The debate team will compete in around 30 tournaments this year. Since the season’s start in late August the team has attended about 10 competitions, with the next one on Dec. 13 and 14 in Berkner. 

“We are coming off a state championship which is a pretty big deal,” senior Luke Wheatley said. “This year, we have our feet in the ground. This is our second year with our head coach, and we are pretty set in our ways. Grapevine was kind of rough for us, but aside from that we’ve taken multiple sweepstakes trophies and we’re finishing pretty high at pretty much every tournament that we’ve gone to thus far.”

Even though the team lost “good people” according to junior Tajvir Singh, they returned this year having done “very well” recently receiving 1st place sweepstakes in the Athens tournament, as well as getting 2nd place sweepstakes at the Hebron and Wylie tournaments earlier this year.  

This year, we have our feet in the ground. This is our second year with our head coach, and we are pretty set in our ways.

— Luke Wheatley

“We already have 12 state qualified members, which ties our school record, and we are set to exceed that this year,” Wheatley said. “We are a top-15 ranked program in the state and are currently leading our NSDA District.”

Last year was Jake Cosio’s first official year as head coach of the debate team. Since leading the team, there has been a new emphasis in preparation, overall leadership and personal events. 

“To brag on Cosio, the class that I’m in, the junior class specifically, got a lot of really good mentors last year and over the summer,” junior Kaya Czyz said. “We’ve been pushed to go to these camps that really benefited us in terms of how to teach and lead the program. I think the dynamic between Cosio and the kids who have been here a while is just very positive and supportive.”

Along with Cosio’s help, the students stepped up in teaching their peers. Students have been pushed to go to camps and have focused on helping each other.

“For me, I have always felt that there is a lack of support from upperclassmen,” Czyz said. “When I was a freshman, they were meant to help and make sure that you got stuff done and understand what you’re doing. So I feel like my role this year is to help kids understand and make sure they feel okay.”

Members of the debate team must have a “unique amount of devotion” to compete in the “rigorous” tournaments, according to Wheatley. 

“There are some kids that stay after school four or five days a week for an hour or two just to get ready for the competition,” Wheatley said. “Preparation is a mix between practice to get it polished and research to make sure you can support the things you’re doing.”

The team competed in a tournament in Grapevine earlier this year. Although they didn’t “do too hot,” according to Singh, they have used it as a learning experience to help change the team.

“We’ve started to understand our weaknesses, during the round and in preparation, and how we can overcome them,” Singh said. “Other debaters had tough spots at certain tournaments, and they’ve really learned from those. When you go to a tournament like that and get beaten all over the place, you’re like ‘maybe there’s something I need to change, a big change.’ That kind of forces you to re-look what you’ve been doing and change that.”

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About the Contributors
Carlee George
Carlee George, Staff Writer

Chloe Smith is a freshman this year at Lovejoy High School and is embarking on her first year as a staff member on LJP. She has been interested in film & broadcasting since she was 6 years old when her mom first introduced it to her. Her favorite aspects of film and productions are being behind the camera and editing. Smith plays soccer for Solar Soccer Club, and in her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends and drawing. She hopes to pursue film as a career someday, but until then, she hopes to continue to learn as much as she can in the next few years of high school and is very excited for the opportunities to come.

Cooper Meldrum
Cooper Meldrum, Photographer
Senior Cooper Meldrum is now in his second and final year with The Red Ledger where he will be a photographer. Outside of school, his hobbies include lacrosse and just about any other sport around. He loves to be active in the outdoors and never sits around doing nothing. But, when he does sit around doing nothing, he likes to watch movies. One of his all time favorites is “Top Gun.” He is excited to finish his High School career in in TRL.

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