Lansing Debate places third at 4-speaker state

Brett Zimmerman, Staff Writer

The Lansing High School debate team placed third in the 4-Speaker division of the 5A state championship held in Hutchinson on the 17th and 18th of January. 

The team recorded 12 wins and 4 losses, which continues a run of successful state-level competition. 

The program has placed in the top-three each of the past three years. This year’s team consisted of Freshmen: Lucas Daniels, Juniors: Maddie Souser and Chloe Kautt, and Seniors: William Strickland, Brett Zimmerman, and Marcus Woodcock.

When asked about the stream of recent successes Head Coach Larissa Maranell said, “We’ve had kids that are really driven and put in the extra hours. I think that is a contributing factor to our success.” 

Echoing the sentiment of his coach Marcus Woodcock added, “You can’t just roll up unprepared and expect to show out. The Lansing debate squad is pretty good at preparing.”

Coach Maranell also stressed that being adaptive is really important for prominent tournaments like State. “We tried to make sure that our teams that are typically more flow (faster) oriented were able to get in slower rounds where they had to be more persuasive.”

The team turned out to be very persuasive. The six of them came within one win of a state title, and with five of the six teammates being returners of 2019’s second place team that fourth loss stung a little harder than normal.

However, like most competitive activities the memories made are not always found in the trophies, “My favorite part is bonding with everyone while we’re on the trips, like going to restaurants or doing facemasks.” said Junior Maddie Souser.

The debate team will be back in action, traveling to Texas, this weekend to compete for a bid to the Tournament of Champions.