West Debate Outworks South

West Debate Outworks South

Clara Chin, Staff Writer

   The West High School Speech and Debate Team left school dressed sharply in business suits and returned decorated with trophies and a First place plaque.

At the debate tournament on Saturday, February 9 at Narbonne High School the West High Speech and Debate Team won First Place Sweeps. This award is presented to the team with the most speaking points overall. The West High Debate Team defeated teams from other nearby schools, including rival South High School in Torrance and Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles. Winning sweeps was not an easy feat, as eleven schools participated with sixty-nine competing teams altogether. One contributing factor to the team’s success on Saturday was their increase in work ethic.

“I think everyone was working extra hard because our last tournament didn’t go well for West,” said Amanda Guan (10). For Guan and her partner Lekha Adari (11), this meant copious amounts of research.

“We really had to understand both sides of the case. My partner and I were actually able to use some of our pro case for our con case,” said Guan. The topic at hand was globalization and its effects on poverty reduction. Guan and Adari participate in Public Forum Debate in which teams of two present short speeches along with periods of crossfire.

In addition to the overall sweepstakes win, three individuals won trophies. Young Woo Cho (12) won all four of his rounds in Lincoln-Douglas debate, a one-on-one debate focusing on moral issues. Two other trophy winners were Nadir Akhtar (11) and Shivani Ganti (11), who went undefeated as well. They competed in Policy Debate, in which this year’s topic is the development and exploration of oceans.

Though they did not have to prepare new cases, Akhtar and Ganti focused on refining.

“Over the tournaments, we’ve been learning about all the holes in our cases. So, we tried to find as many corks as we could to be ready to seal up those leaks, in case…Basically, we were prepared to be hit from many different angles, and we had the knowledge of how to counteract it, as well as the evidence with which to do so,” said Akhtar.

Besides the wins, the tournament as a whole passed by smoothly. “There were no problems and we had enough judges for everything so it just worked out really well,” said Alanna Bledman (11). She also said the tournament ran about three hours early.

With overall efficiency, team effort and talent, the tournament drew to a triumphant close for our warrior debaters.