Debate Team Wins Sweepstakes at Lincoln High


McKenna DeRiese

Anna Synya and Dawson Nguyen debate their new topic for the next tournament. The team won sweepstakes at Lincoln High on Feb. 1.

McKenna DeRiese

The Southwest debate team won the Lincoln High Invitational Debate Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1. Over 40 students competed in three different events: Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Congress. 

In order for Southwest to earn enough points to compete for a sweepstakes win, every member had to maintain a high record since every win generated points. 

“Winning sweepstakes confirms the fact that we are working hard,” debate coach Toni Heimes said. “It proves the team overall is strong rather than having one or two stars of the team.”

Every student competed in one event for the entire day, which was anywhere from 5 to 9 rounds for Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum and two sessions for the competitors in Congress. 

Senior Katrina Schwensen, who competed in the Congress event, placed second and helped Southwest win the tournament.

“I love doing Congress because it helps me keep up with current events,” Schwensen said. “I have to do a lot of research in order to properly compete, but I really enjoy the topics and how I feel like a politician debating laws.”

Unlike Congress which got new debate topics each tournament, Public Forum debaters spent an entire month debating both sides of one resolution, which is usually around three to four tournaments every month. 

“I really like being able to research both sides of a societal issue,” senior Serena Jentz said. “For Public Forum you have to be able to be for and against your resolution, so by the last tournament you’re going to be an all around expert on the subject.”

The debate team has three more tournaments in their regular season before the state tournaments begin in March. The next event is going to be their showcase at Southwest on Feb. 11.