Debate Places First At State


Now West has one more trophy to add to their display.

The debate team won state on Saturday at Olathe Northwest. With coach Kenneth King, the winners were Maddi Duncan, junior, Grace Rogers, junior, Reed Norman, junior, Spencer Jones, senior, Hunter McTarsney, senior, and Lauren Scanlan, senior.

“There are four regions in Kansas and they all have a range of schools in it from 6A.” Norman said. “Each one has a competition and the top two school from those tournaments qualify on to state.”

The debate team also took first at the regional tournament. There are four regions with the top two schools from each, leaving a state tournament of eight schools. Each school takes two debate teams to their regional.

When debating, there is a topic given to resolve.

The resolution (topic) this year was “Resolved: The Federal Government should substantially increase it’s exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s Mesosphere.”

The topic was all about space and how the government should be spending the budget on it,” McTarsney said.

When debating there is the negative team, which is going against the topic.

“At the tournament, Maddi and I were on the negative team so we were claiming space exploration should not be increased,” Rogers said.

There is also the affirmative team, which is for the topic.

“I was part of the affirming team with Lauren Scanlan,” Norman said.

Shawnee Mission West went against seven other schools in 6A.

“Getting to state is pretty easy, but the competition at state is really tough,” Jones said.

They each had moment they’ll remember, no matter what the outcome was.

“My favorite part about all of this was probably getting the big trophy and seeing it with the teams picture. King has really wanted it ever since my freshman year,” Jones said.

Not only were current students there, but the debate team got support from alumni too.

“The overall experience was great, My favorite part was when the Blue Valley Coach, who is a Shawnee Mission West alum, came up and sang the fight song after we won,” Rogers said.

The tournament was the first state championship for the debate team under King.

“I was really proud of our squad. It was long and tons of hard work were put in, but it was so worth it,” Duncan said.