Varsity debaters prepare to go to California for their tournament
Six varsity debaters will compete at the Berkeley Tournament on Monday, Feb. 18 at the University of California in Berkeley, California at 7:45 a.m.
More than 2,000 students from schools across the country will be attending the tournament.
“I’m hoping to get my second bid to the Tournament of Champions; I already have one invite to the Tournament of Champions,” senior varsity debater Benny Wolf said. “I’m hoping to do well at this tournament to prove myself as one of the best debaters in the country.”
They learn important skills that students will soon apply to college and the real world.
“The fact that they’ll [debaters] be far better writers, researchers, and critical thinkers will give them an advantage over their peers,” Debate Coach Preston Stolte said.
Pressure is also highly present on the few debaters who are being sent to represent the school. Students paid $500 for the trip expenses, which included travel, hotels, food, and tournament fees, paid for by the students, according to Stolte.
“It’s taken time,” senior varsity debater Jacob Lugo said. “I’ve met friends in debate, and I spend most of my weekends debating. It has become my personal life.”
The 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s held a highly reputable status for the school’s team, and Stolte hopes to restore this.
“Churchill was known as a great debate school, but nobody has ToC qualified in about four or five years,” Wolf said. “There’s definitely pressure to bring that level of success back to Churchill. We’re always traveling, competing, and it limits social life, but also expands your social life as you make friends across the entire country.” By Fabian Mier