The Dolphins became Gators for the weekend debate tournament at the University of Florida, where the national and highly competitive debate tournament known as Blue Key was held from October 29 to October 30.
Students prepared for several weeks to participate in the highly rigorous competitions ranging from dramatic speaking events to classical debate events. Students competed individually and with partners.
Out of dozens of schools and hundreds of students competing, several students made it past the initial rounds. Junior Lindsay Saunders advanced in the Novice Lincoln Douglas Debate, where students prepare a case on a monthly topic and go head to head against another individual; sophomore John Ratkowiak advanced in Original Oratory, where students prepare a ten minute speech that must be highly researched and entertaining on a topic of their choice; and senior Nik Bindi advanced in the Congressional Debate, where students research and submit bills and give speeches in sessions of “congress” after which they vote on the submitted bills.
After Bindi’s impressive run the Blue Key tournament in Gainesville, he got one step closer to qualifying for the Tournament of Champions, the highest honored high school debate tournament in the country.
Bindi, who is also debate team captain, will need to make it past the generic rounds at one more national tournament to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
The rest of the team did well among a highly competitive crowd. The team gives thanks to the debate coach Mrs. Messer.
The debate team is now preparing for their next national competition on December 10 at the Isidore Newman school in New Orleans.