Debate Sends Duo to State Tournament

Layla Wright, Staff Writer

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Debate team partners Juniors Shannon Bonet and Sharon Yuan are on their way to the state championships in Mountain House on April 20-22.  The event is organized by California High School Speech Association (CHSSA)

Bonet and Yuan will compete in the Golden Gate Speech Association (GGSA) division.

For Bonet, who advanced to the state tournament last year with a different partner, the trip to Mountain House is not likely to top her previous experience. “Last year, state was held in Southern California, which made it a very fun trip for me as a qualifying sophomore. This year, it’ll be held in Mountain House, which is closer but probably less of an exciting experience.”

Yuan, who is making the trip for the 1st time, said, “I’m really looking forward to the higher level of competition, as well as the opportunity to meet debaters from all over California.”

“The CHSSA state tournament is one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year, as it requires a qualification from your respective league. In our local league GGSA, my partner and I were competing amongst 50 other teams, only 7 of which end up qualify for state. At state, we’ll be expecting the same pool size, except made up of debaters from all around California,” said Bonet.

Debate coach Lukas Schwab is optimistic about his squad’s chances. “A team from Campolindo could plausibly bring home the state championship. We’ve had one of the strongest seasons of any parliamentary debate squad in California so far. There’s a lot of serendipity in that, though; all the teams vying for the state title are counting on open-minded judges, reasonably fair debate topics, and a bracket that doesn’t pit them against the other top teams,” he said.

Schwab has been working with Bonet and Yuan in preparation for the tournament. “I focus on developing new arguments as they emerge and as we need them: maybe there’s a political change or a certain team Campolindo is concerned with beating. We’ll be working on new arguments day-of, depending on the news and the competitive meta,” he said.

“The state championship is like any other tournament: stay focused, stay motivated, play to win,” said Schwab.

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