Debaters were arguing both sides of the topic, “Resolved, the United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of Space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.”
Seventh grader Alex Hadden and his sixth grade teammate, Ben King, went undefeated and took first place in junior varsity. King was the tournament’s 5th place jv speaker, and Hadden placed 19th. Classmates Junior Waters and Joseph Taylor also had a successful tournament, finishing with the 7th place team award. Waters was the 6th place jv speaker, and Taylor was 21st. Sydney Hamann and her partner, Grace Jones, had wins against Westminster and Harper Archer, and Hamann was the 18th speaker. Collin Faulker competed on a hybrid team with Solomon Watson from the Kipp (Knowledge is Power Program) Charter School, and also scored multiple wins.
In varsity competition, Chaney Bearden and Hannah Ku finished in second place. Bearden, a sixth grader, was named the tournament’s 2nd place varsity speaker. Ku, a seventh grader, took 3rd speaker. Alyssa Waters had to compete without her partner, who missed the tournament due to illness, but still managed a win against Cartersville’s top varsity team.
Calhoun won the tournament’s 2nd place sweepstakes award. “This was our last regular-season before the state competition,” said CMS debate coach, Lane Bearden, “and it was good opportunity for our teams to fine tune some of their skills and arguments.”
Judge Bearden explained that it was a particularly challenging meet since “many of the circuit’s top judges were away, competing at college and high school tournaments this weekend.” “Our debaters had to try to adapt to new and inexperienced judges” said the coach, “While it was frustrating at times, overall, we did very well with the challenge.”
Calhoun also won the tournament’s Community Service award, in recognition of the contributions of Calhoun’s High School debaters to judging and support at the competition. CHS debaters Katie Marshall, Draik Grant, Ralem Eomhd, and Lloyd Bearden all judged and helped coach at the tournament.
The State Middle School Debate Tournament will be held March 3, in Atlanta. Calhoun has won the varsity state championship four times over the past decade.
The CMS debaters are hoping to finish the season by traveling to the National Junior Forensic League National Tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 14-16. The team is going to engage in a number of fundraising activities to help pay for the trip.