Debaters prepare for upcoming state competition

Iris Delis, Staff Reporter

The Eagle Debate team had a successful tournament on January 28th at Sandburg Convocation with multiple placings in several divisions.

As February is quickly approaching, Sandburg’s Novice and JV debate teams are preparing for the year’s most notable competition: Illinois Debate Community (IDC). This tournament takes place March 10-11th, but the entire month of February is typically used to conduct research, prepare arguments, and improve public speaking skills. 

There are two different types of debate offered at Sandburg: Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum. Lincoln-Douglas is a one-on-one debate event and tends to focus on philosophical ideas. In contrast, Public Forum is a two-on-two debate event that is more evidence-based.

Both types of debates consist of a total of 5 40-minute rounds of competition and are judged by an individual at the regular tournaments. The state competition is different in the way that it allows for debaters to qualify for elimination rounds. Rounds are also usually judged by at least two individuals for more fairness. 

Varsity captain Yash Rao says, “While preparation is a lot of work, it is important to put in the work now to succeed.” Rao helps the lower divisions hone in on their skills and gain new perspectives by using his debating experience, alongside other varsity members. He will be competing in the varsity IHSA tournament the following weekend at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. 

This part of the season is also seen as making stronger connections with teammates. Debate coach Mrs. Kovacevic notes, “February is the most important month for the team. Not only is preparation and leadership development important, but so is team bonding. If the bonding isn’t stronger going into the competition together, then it’s terrifying. Bonding also makes the competition more fun.”

While this time of year can be full of nerves, members of the team often look forward to it. JV Public Forum Aashvi Kothadia states, “I like the bond the team forms during state season. Spending so much time together makes us closer. Also, this time of year becomes more competitive, which I like because it drives me to succeed. I learn valuable work ethic and time-management skills too that I can use in the future.” 

We will see our Novice and JV Eagles at Palatine High School in March. Good luck to those competing!