Debaters attempt to prove they are “arguably the best”


Wildcat Photo

Junior Kate Tickle and freshman Deleana Marquez pose with their fourth-place medals at the Blue Valley Northwest novice debate tournament on Oct. 20.

Hunter Finerty, Staff Reporter

    Whether scrolling through social media platforms or walking through the halls of any public place, heated discussions about controversial political issues can constantly be seen. In the current political climate, the United States’ immigration policy has been the topic of much dispute.

    One club at De Soto High School that promotes a wholesome and informed conversation on this issue is debate. This year’s policy debate resolution reads “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States,” allowing members of the DHS debate squad to dive deeper into the logistics of the hot button issue.

    Novice debaters come in all varieties, but one thing tends to remain the same. All but a handful of those new to the debate circuit are freshmen. While adjusting to the life of a high schooler can be tough for any freshman, beginning debate can present even more new challenges.

    A select few novices have overcome these challenges and succeeded as debaters.

    Freshman Deleana Marquez has shown great improvement as a debater throughout the first month of competition. Though she had only competed in one novice tournament before, Marquez managed to earn fourth place with a new partner at Blue Valley Northwest on Oct. 20.

“When I first started out, I was really nervous and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but now with the help of Mrs. Kelly and student mentors I’ve started to get the hang of it,” Marquez said.

She has been debating with junior Kate Tickle, who didn’t begin debating until this year.

    “People have stepped up, in many cases, to debate with people they didn’t know prior to the season and have built that trust. They’ve done extraordinarily well and have been able to do things I don’t think either of them expected they would,” Kelly said.

    Besides the novices, some second-year debaters have also had the opportunity to shine in junior varsity.

    Sophomores Brooke Cobos and Natalie Nusz earned first place at the Olathe Northwest Invitational on Oct. 5-6. Cobos and Nusz debated in novice during their freshman year, but began debating at a higher level this year.

    “I feel like I have a better knowledge and understanding of the academic purpose and knowledge that goes into debate. It [her first year] has definitely had an impact on my abilities,” Nusz said.

    The debate team has grown to nearly 50 novice competitors, several of which have had successful seasons. With the amount of returners nearly doubled from last year, De Soto’s presence in novice, junior varsity and varsity divisions has greatly increased within the eastern Kansas debate circuit.