By Gisselle Vargas ’20
The Speech and Debate team, ran by sophomore World History teacher Charles Rosentel and Speech and Debate teacher Jeff Watkins, attended their first tournament this year at Lakeview High School.
The Speech and Debate team at Pritzker is an all year long competitive club. Students meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-6 p.m. to practice and do research on the topics they will be dating about in upcoming tournaments. Students also sometimes go in on Saturdays for extra practice on their performance and stage presence. The team’s hard work showed in their first tournament of the school year.
Maria Ramirez, a junior, stated that “Pritzker won 10 awards, which is pretty amazing” because this was their first tournament.
Although Pritzker did really well, not everyone felt confident going in at first. Ramirez explained she felt extremely nervous going into the first round, but “the jitters always stop as soon as I start talking because I feel like it’s something so natural to me. I guess I’m a debater at heart.” Junior Isaac Santana felt nervous too: “I felt a little rusty. It’s nerve wracking, but you quickly get used to it.”
Regardless of this though, the team as a whole feels more confident. Santana stated that “this year’s going to be pretty good as some of our members are already placing- from 2nd to 4th place.” Furthermore, Santana said that the team was more successful than before due to the fact that they have more members than before. Ramirez also agreed with Santana’s statement: “Since the first tournament, our team has substantially grown, which is insanely exciting. I know my team’s potential is huge, so I’m very excited to see how we grow individually and as a whole.”
What helped Ramirez calm down that day was the fact the way things are structured in the tournament. When they arrived at Lakeview High School, all the students ate breakfast together while the teams who will be competing against each other are announced. Additionally, after every round, there are small breaks for you to talk to your teammates and ask them how it went, which is relieving for Ramirez. After all the rounds are done, students wait up to half an hour to hear the winners. The head of the Maroon Conference, the conference Pritzker is in, starts announcing the novce individual speaker awards. Then, team awards are given, and this process is also done for the varsity debaters. Winners include juniors Lizette Benavides, Gissele Pacheco, Fany Resendiz, and more.
The speakers earn points based on how well they carried themselves throughout the debates, their presentation, how good their arguments are, and other factors. Ultimately, Pritzker did a great job with this and started on the right foot.
Ramirez expressed how proud she was: “as a team, we were extremely successful this first tournament.”