Debate Home Tournament Preparation

Ansley Warnock, Journalist

Lansing, Ks———This Friday and Saturday are the Lansing Debate Team’s first home tournament of the year.


As of Thursday, there are 99 teams signed up from all over Kansas. The head coach, Ms. Maranell, is renowned throughout the state not only for her coaching skills but also her well organized and timely tournaments. To say the least, there’s a great deal of pressure on the team itself.


Yet, the debaters seemed well adjusted to the stress. Yesterday, the room that would soon be used for tabulation (evaluation of judging ballots) bristled with vaguely nervous energy, but the stack of team shirts and someone’s timer going seemed to quell all doubts that they were unprepared. After all, it’s not like they were handling a competition with close to 200 kids competing, right?


There’s something unique about running a tournament, a distinct quality of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This could reasonably be said for any hosted event, but waiting with nothing to do in an environment in which one is a performer of sorts is understandably nerve wracking. Yet, once again, that is a mere state of being in the days leading up to the debate team’s reputation reckoning.


As Friday rounds draws closer, Lansing held together. 


“Oh, there’s a lot to do. One of the biggest hurdles has been getting enough judges … but we’ve also had to consolidate in terms of what each student is doing, and we’re trying our best to make sure that everything goes well and, importantly, on time,” Ms. Maranell said. 


The team barely avoided scrambling from 8th hour to check in. Concession work started immediately, preparing for the flood of high schools eager for soda right before the first debate. The judge’s table frantically signed people in. Soon it was 4:00, and the first round began.