Debate team celebrates success

From Issue 7


Sophomore Jack Mullen presents a case to his fellow team members.

Jackson Prep’s speech and debate team, guided and sponsored by Mr. Younce and Ms. Jenkins, had a very successful year competing in many different tournaments across the southeast. The team attended eleven tournaments, many in the Jackson area, but also in places such as Hattiesburg, Petal, Oxford, Starkville, and Lafayette. In the future, the team hopes to attend more events outside of the state.

For the first two years of the speech and debate program, the team only participated in Lincoln-Douglas debate events, for which they earned a high level of recognition in the community. However, the team has branched out to poetry and prose performance, as well as oral oratories, which are both classified as Individual Events (IEs). Due to this branching out, the team has been working hard this year to strike a good balance in prowess between Lincoln-Douglas debates and Individual Events.

This year, Prep was the host to the Central and North Mississippi Qualifiers for the National Catholic Forensic League National finals. On the weekend of February 24th, student competitors from all around Mississippi gathered on campus in an attempt to qualify for the NCFL National Finals, which will take place on May 27-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sophomore Jack Mullen and Junior Mitchell Boulanger won alternate positions for the National Finals in Public Forum Debate. Mullen also went to the finals in Oral Interpretation. In the future, Prep hopes to be able to host one of the four qualifying tournaments for the National finals every year.

The core of the speech and debate team meets daily in the year-long speech and debate class, which is open to all senior high students to take for either a single semester or a whole school year. Mr. Younce added: “We depended heavily on the team members who were in the class, especially team captain Lauren Williams.”

Mr. Younce hopes that, if a student takes the speech and debate class, they will improve clarity in their writing, become more comfortable speaking in front of groups, and be able to practice acting skills on a smaller scale.

It is not required for a student to take the speech and debate class to be an active member of the team, but it is preferred in order to get the full speech and debate experience.