Freshman debaters have successful showings in first tournaments of season


Freshmen Lydia Crest and mason Scott pose with their sixth place trophy at Olathe South High School.

Hunter Finerty, Web Editor

Though the policy debate season has only been going for about a month, a handful of the freshman debaters have managed to make a name for themselves. 

Freshman partners Hailey Barth and Kate Hileman placed sixth at Saint James Academy with a 4-1 record on Sept 21, then placed eighth at Paola High School with a 3-2 record on Oct 5. 

Freshman partners Lydia Crist and Matson Scott placed third with a 3-1 record at Olathe South on Sept 21, as well. 

The debaters have only had a short time to prepare, but their records records for these first few tournaments have been impressive.

  “I’ve learned how to be more confident with speaking and standing my ground,” Barth said. 

After seeing their improvement in such a short span of time, some of the novices have set ambitious goals for themselves. Barth wants to be able to go to novice State at the end of the season, while Hileman is hopeful to see how the team can improve overall. 

“I felt proud [when we placed], but there’s always room for improvement,” Hileman said. 

Other novices are still in shock that they managed to reap the benefits of their hard work. 

“I was surprised to do so well. It was our first tournament, so I wasn’t sure how it would go but I’m glad we got a placement,” Crist said. 

Advanced debater and junior Blake Hinson has been competing since his freshman year. During his third year of debate, he has taken up a leadership role, taking novices under his wing to teach them how to thrive.

“It’s been fun teaching someone how to do something I know so well. It’s good to see them learn and progress and to see how far they’ve come,” Hinson said. 

Hinson feels like he has seen major improvement in the novices who have placed. He believes all of the freshmen have great potential and hopes to see them succeed in the ways he has in the past, competing at the State tournament in January 2019. 

Crist, Scott, Hileman and Barth all have the opportunity to see growth throughout the rest of the season and hope to see their success along the way.

“Placing in debate tournaments feels like all of the stress and hard work pays off,” Barth said. 

They all plan to continue their growth and debate through the rest of their high school careers.


Freshmen Lydia Crest and mason Scott pose with their sixth place trophy at Olathe South High School.