Basehor-Linwood High School debate team finds success at state
Four Basehor-Linwood High School students travelled to Fort Scott this weekend, and two made it further than another Bobcat had in the tournament.
For the past five years, the Bobcats have traveled to state to find little success. That changed this year with Maddy Langford, Emily Dye, Tanner Tavis and Clayton Kaminski.
Tavis and Kaminski advanced to the "octafinal" round and earned state medals.
"They were so excited," said the team's coach and BLHS communication teacher Rebecca Knowles. "It was a pretty big deal."
The team drove to Fort Scott High School on Friday afternoon to begin the competition at 1 p.m. Competition that day lasted until about 9 p.m., Knowles said. On Saturday, debates took place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Like every other debate competition in the country this year, the debates were about economic development and relations with Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Knowles said. Langford, Dye, Tavis and Kaminski participated in the two-speaker competitions and had to argue for and against points on the topic.
"If they're placed on the negative, or opposition, side of an argument," Knowles said, "they have no idea what argument they're going to have to run with until the other team starts theirs."
Knowles has been coaching the debate team for eight years at BLHS and said she has never had a team advance as far as the octafinals.
"The program has definitely made progress," Knowles said. "When I first started, we didn't have the record to even go to state."