Debate team reaches semifinals in the Lovejoy TFA Tournament


The debate team participated in the Lovejoy Texas Forensic Association tournament on Saturday Sept. 17. They took 57 students to the tournament, a record high for the school. The team competed against other schools in the area and participated in varying events.

Freshman Kyra Shank, senior Alkarim Jiwani and junior JJ Kim all reached the finals for the Novice Extemporaneous event. Freshman Aisha Aslam made it to the semifinals for the Novice Lincoln Douglas Event and went against Prosper High School student Ezra Davidson in the finals. Sophomores Hafsa Hanafi and Vaishali Pandey made it to the semifinals of the Novice Cross Examination Debate against the Whitesboro High School team.

“The debate team used to be a dozen kids when the school first started,” debate manager Leeann Solice said. “To see the growth of the team is very pleasing for me as a manager and to get all the kids where they needed to be and to make sure they were prepared.”

Students worked on their cases for three to four weeks before the tournament. Teams and individuals received state points for their events during the tournament.

“A nice milestone was that, I believe for the first time, we have gotten students get state points in three different events,” Solice said. “In Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, and Policy Debate.”

The students need 12 points to qualify for state. Senior Jason Joy and his partner got two state points in the Policy Forum event.

“Up until quarters I was fine,” Joy said. “After the quarterfinals, the pressure started hitting me because it was a lot more people watching.”

Solice saw an improvement across the board throughout the tournament and was very pleased.

“It was also pleasing to see that our team not only has breath but also depth,” Solice said. “That’s a sign of a healthy team with active members.”