Debate team continues massive trophy streak

The debate team has obtained 18 trophies over the last few years.


Debate’s latest trophy won at a competition at Grant High School on Oct. 23, 2019. Photo by Caden Moe

Caden Moe, Opinion Editor

Grayslake Central’s debate team continues to prove its success throughout the years through a respectable 18-trophy streak that shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

     Once a month, the debate team attends a competition at another school. There, they are divided into different rooms, called chambers, in which they present speeches arguing for or against three potential bills per session. Such bills include hot topics like changing the electoral college, or whether vaccines should be required to go to school, and more obscure ones like preventing harmful chemicals from being put in sunblock.

     “There’s an element of randomness, because it depends on what chamber you’re placed in,” said head debate coach Chris D’Amico. “Ultimately, you have to be good at debating to stand a chance.’’

     There are two types of trophies that a debater can win. The first is for Best Speaker, and is awarded to competitors gave the best arguments for their respective bills.

     Freshman and third place speaker Cabot Postol commented on his strategy for speaking, saying it is “simply to try to research as much as I can, so I have good background on what I’m actually going to say.”

      The other type of trophy is Best Presiding Officer. As D’Amico put it, “one debater gets elected in the chamber to basically run the show. They get to call on speakers, they get to pass or fail the bill, and they keep time on the speeches.”

     Sophomore and two-time Best PO winner Abby Lake said, “You are kind of in control of the chamber, and there are only three throughout the day in your room. So when you’re Presiding Officer, you just have a higher chance of getting a higher score.”

     Many more students use these skills to win trophies, the two most recent being Postol and junior Noah Landau.

However, the team is not just about winning trophies. Their main goal is to teach students how to debate and structure a coherent argument.

      In the words of D’Amico, “Is it cool to come back with trophies? Absolutely. But it’s much cooler to go out there, to have a positive experience, and to express thoughts in a civilized, logical way.”