WHS debate team enjoying huge success this fall season

The Wayland High School debate team (front row, from left) Jamie Murray (10th grade), Eli Merren (9th), Madelyn Probst (9th), Andrea Ivers (varsity,11th), Jacob Fredricks (10th), Lauren Shroll (12th), Makaila Huffman (varsity captain, 12th), (back row) Evan Cater (12th),Trinity Holst (10th), Samantha VerStrate (9th), Samantha Rahm (varsity, 10th), Maximillian Winkler (12th), Brandon Thornburg (11th),  Jarod Geerligs (11th) and coach Andrea Brown. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Brown)

The Wayland Union High School debate team has had record success this season.

The Wayland group is a member of the West Michigan Legislative Debate League. Competitions are held at different West Michigan schools each month and trophies are awarded for the top ten speakers at each league meet as well as Presiding Officer and Top Novice (first year debater) awards.

Wayland has dominated at the first three league meets. Receiving “Presiding Officer Gavels” this year were Andrea Ivers, Samantha Rahm and Max Winkler. Individual speaking trophies were awarded to team members Eli Merren (seventh and eighth place); Lauren Shroll (10th place); and Max Winkler (second place); varsity debaters Andrea Ivers (eighth and ninth place) and Samantha Rahm (first place speaker). Merren and Winkler were both awarded with Top Novice awards as well.

Bsides league meets the team has traveled to the Okemos Tournament Oct. 14 at Lansing Community College, where they took the top awards: Ivers (fifth), Rahm (fourth), Merren (third), Max Winkler (second) and Jamie Murray (first). The team had success at the Holt Invitational Nov. 11: Novices Winkler (ninth) and Murray (third); varsity team member, Rahm (10th) and varsity captain Makaila Huffman (seventh) speaker.

The team now is focusing on the last league meet of the season in Otsego Dec.6 and has qualified nine team members for state competition. WHS will conclude the winning season with a state event at Wayne State University the first weekend of December.

Coach Andrea Brown said she is thrilled with both the novice and varsity teams: “I am honored to work with such talented and motivated students. As a team, they are unstoppable; I can’t wait to see what they do in the future.”  

WUHS Debaters participate in Legislative Debate (a variation of student congress where they compete with 50+ students from various schools). Students gain valuable knowledge through research and writing legislation for the docket of debate and gain real life experience as they prepare arguments while they improve their speaking and listening skills.

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