This weekend, Kate Leggett and Lloyd Bearden advanced to the quarter-finals in the varsity division at the Bishop Guild debates, held at Samford University in Birmingham.This was Calhoun's first advance to the quarter-final round of a Tournament of Champions qualifier in two years. It was the first time that time that two tenth-graders from Calhoun ever gone that far in varsity TOC competition.
The sophomore duo defeated four other teams before losing the elimination round to Mountain Brook High from Birmingham.
Samford was the first tournament of the year for teammates Lauren Bledsoe, a junior, and Thomas Kendrick, another sophomore. The two came away with wins against Warner Robins High School and Marist, a private school in Atlanta.
This success followed the team's co-championship at Warner Robins in September. At the Macon tournament, Bearden and Leggett defeated varsity teams from Carrollton, Trion, Roswell and Pace Academy. Kendrick, who debated by himself because of his partner's illness, was named top speaker in junior varsity at the tournament, and advanced to the elimination rounds in that division.
Also in September, the team traveled to Wake Forest University in North Carolina. The sophomore team took three quick wins against two Maryland schools, Centennial and River Hill, and an-other Georgia school, Alpharetta. They lost their final round to seniors debaters from Eden Prairie in Minnesota.
"The Calhoun team, while young, has been preparing hard over the summer," said CHS debate coach, Lane Bearden. "Lauren spent two weeks at a summer debate camp at Emory University, Kate flew to North Texas for three weeks, and Lloyd spent a month at the University of Michigan." "We are expecting big things from these students in the future" he added.
Next weekend, Calhoun High will host the Sandra Worthington Silvers Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. Over two hundred students from around the South are expected to gather and compete in Calhoun. The tournament is named after Calhoun's legendary speech and debate coach, Sandra Worthington Silvers, who was the first Georgia High School coach admitted to the National Forensic League Hall of Fame