On February 9, at 8:30 a.m. Leesville’s very own speech and debate team descended onto Enloe High School for its debut competition. The tournament hosted a variety of events, with Leesville students competing in Student Congress, novice Public Forum debate, novice Lincoln Douglas debate and even Original Oratory.
The tournament lasted well into the evening, with the awards ceremony ending at 7:30. Two Leesville competitors, Sonali Biswas, senior, and Grace Egly, freshman, placed in their respective events of Student Congress and novice Lincoln Douglas. The Public Forum team, consisting of Peter Marino, senior, and Tucker Balk, junior, received an honorable mention for scoring 3-1; however, they did not manage to place.
For their first tournament this is a marked success on part of the Leesville team, especially considering most of the competition came from private schools such as Cary and Durham Academy which have not only established teams, but classes dedicated to speech and debate.
Biswas said, “ At first I felt very intimidated and surprised by the sheer amount of people and schools that were there. Everyone’s dressed up and ready to come at you. However, if there’s one thing that I took away from [the tournament] it’s that practice is everything.”