Debate is Headed to State

The debate team has advanced to state for the first time in school history


Junior Jack Schriber sits at his computer ready to debate. Photo courtesy of Jack Schriber.

On March 6 the Speech and Debate team competed in their district tournament. This was the second year that the team has participated in debate. Junior Jack Schriber and senior Jackson Ford placed second amongst 14 teams, allowing them to advance to state in Public Forum Debate competition. Although the team has been represented at the state level for speech events, this is the first time Francis Howell Central has been represented at the state level for debate.

“It is very exciting to be representing our debate team at our school for the first time in its history,” Ford said. “It’s an honor to have that opportunity.”

It was Schriber and Ford’s first time debating together, but their practice and perseverance called for a winning team.

Senior Jackson Ford is in action as he debates from his room. Photo courtesy of Jackson Ford.

“We practiced multiple times debating on general, like the week before we had a mock debate with our teammates,” Schriber said. “I don’t think we would have made it as far without it.”

Ford was confident in their abilities to succeed as a duo. 

“I had a feeling we’d do well,” Ford said. “Jack and I have been friends for a while and I knew he was a great debater so I figured we’d go farther than I had gone before.”

They had a rigorous couple of days in competition, debating in a total of seven rounds. Ford and Schriber weren’t even sure they’d make it to state, so when it was announced they had made it, they were ecstatic. 

“Honestly I did not expect to do this well, my thoughts going into this went along the lines of ‘I’m here to have fun, but if I move on that would be great’,” Schriber said. “I’ve never broke in any tournament for debate before so getting to finals was a real shock.” 

Ford had a similar reaction. 

“I had never made it as far as we did before at a tournament so as we kept advancing, it was a kind of euphoria pushing through until we qualified,” Ford said. “After we succeeded, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to think.”

Their celebrations were short and sweet.

“Me and Jackson celebrated by going to bed early, after debating 7 times in two days your brain gets really tired,” Schriber said. 

In fact, as soon as they found out they won they started preparing for state, which will be taking place April 22. 

“After the ceremony, we immediately began talking about prep for the state debate topic as well as improving our cases to try and advance to nationals,” Ford said. 

“I celebrated by starting to work on revising our cases and making them better so we can go farther next time,” Schriber said. “Since I now know we have the capabilities to do great I just want to build a strong enough foundation for us to launch off of.”