Debaters succeed at state tournament

BSM scored a victory last Saturday with the team of junior Patrick Hunter and sophomore Preston Becker placing second for JV debate while attending the state debate tournament, with Eastview High School taking first. The tournament was held on December 6 and 7 at South Saint Paul High School.

The tournament went well for Hunter and Becker and hopes are high for the next season, “Overall, I am hoping that Patrick and I go far next year in varsity using all of the skills and techniques that we learned and honed over the year,” Becker said. Both Hunter and Becker have been competing on the debate team for two years.

Both Becker and Hunter were surprised with their own performances. “I felt really good going into [the tournament] but I wasn’t expecting this at all” Hunter said. BSM debate is considered something of an underdog, usually competing against, and in last year’s case, beating the reigning champion Eastview High School in the JV divison. “We beat [Eastview] and it was pretty awesome because BSM has a pretty big rivalry with Eastview,” Hunter said.

Becker raised concerns over the placement of Eastview Varsity teams into the JV division, in a practice, that while technically legal, he believes to be unfair. “Eastview High School put many of their varsity teams in JV for the tournament in order to increase their win numbers. As a result, our last two rounds were against Eastview varsity teams, one of whom we beat,” Becker said.

The BSM debate team as a whole did well at the state tournament, placing 5th overall in the Classic Debate league, with Eastview High School taking first.

The topic of the state tournament centered around the practicality of nuclear energy in the United States and its future use in regards to its environmental impact and overall effectiveness. Debaters were required to both affirm and negate the topic, while being judged on their evidence and presentation. “It’s very impressive to watch young people debate intelligently about nuclear energy,” Mr. Tom Backen, a judge at the state debate tournament, said.