While school is something that all students must work hard to succeed in, Rock Creek students competing in debate have an extra task on their plate. In the first semester of 2017, the debate team made an appearance at 12 tournaments.
The 18 students who make up the debate team have been working since early this school year to prepare and perfect their arguments for this year’s debate season under the instruction of debate coach Keith Miller. Seventeen of the students attended the debate camp on Aug. 10 and 11 to enhance their skills and earn extra credit for the class.
Throughout the season, many bonds and memories were made between the teammates and Miller. In Miller’s classroom, there is a board containing lines said by various students that the other teammates found humorous.
“Some days it’s really intense, but it’s a really fun group of kids,” junior Stacie Elliott said. “And, Mr. Miller can be pretty fun as well, believe it or not, so it’s been really enjoyable.”
The students have attained five trophies from different tournaments they have attended. The team placed first at the Clay Center tournament on Dec. 2. Also at Clay Center, freshmen Riggs Schlochtermeier and Karen Thew placed third in novice, and sophomores Garrison Funk and Alyssa Troyer first in open. Over the entire season, Troyer and Funk have went 28-8.
“Garrison and Alyssa, they’ve really blossomed,” Miller said. “They’re doing extremely well, they’re the best pair we have.”
On Dec. 9, the team traveled to Tonganoxie. The Tonganoxie open tournament is known by debate students to be a very competitive tournament. The Rock Creek team made their mark, earning third place overall.
“At Tongie, when we were waiting for results, we played foosball with a paper ball,” Troyer said. “That was — that was pretty great.”
Elliott, Funk and Troyer, along with junior Evan Hancock, have already qualified to attend the two-speaker state tournament at Coffeyville on Jan. 12 and 13. Miller expects to have students do well at state this year.
“We’ve got six state trophies out there in the case for debate,” Miller said.
In the eyes of Miller, this season has been one for the books. There was an ending total of one first place win, one second place win and three third place wins. Along with this, many students earned individual medals. Aside from the trophies, the team was also successful in having an enjoyable time with each other.
“I can’t remember a class period that went by that we didn’t laugh,” Miller said.
Article by Kaiton Padget, staff member
Photo courtesy of Keith Miller, debate coach