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Liberty Speech and Debate Gains Experience

Liberty hosts large speech and debate tournament

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Liberty Speech and Debate Gains Experience

Mahathi Manikandan, (left) Maddie Sanderson, (middle) and Sanjana Anand, (right) prepare for their upcoming debate events.

Mahathi Manikandan, (left) Maddie Sanderson, (middle) and Sanjana Anand, (right) prepare for their upcoming debate events.

Emily Barnett

Mahathi Manikandan, (left) Maddie Sanderson, (middle) and Sanjana Anand, (right) prepare for their upcoming debate events.

Emily Barnett

Emily Barnett

Mahathi Manikandan, (left) Maddie Sanderson, (middle) and Sanjana Anand, (right) prepare for their upcoming debate events.

Emily Barnett, Reporter

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Approximately 30 schools traveled to Liberty as the school hosted its first speech and debate tournament of the year on Feb. 8-9.

Greater St. Louis Speech League (GSL), a speech and debate organization that allows three free tournaments if schools pay a fee, was supposed to host speech and debate tournaments at both Mehlville and Oakville. Due to bad weather, the tournaments at both schools were cancelled.

GSL was in need of a school to fill in to host the tournaments in which speech and debate sponsor Ms. Franke stepped up and offered to have Liberty be used as meeting grounds for a GSL tournament.

Initially, Liberty was already supposed to be hosting their own tournament. The new change altered a few aspects of the original plan. Liberty’s speech and debate team was initially not able to compete because they were instructed to volunteer and help run the tournament. With GSL and Liberty now hosting the debate, Liberty students now had an option to either volunteer or compete. While some students decided to help out, many speech and debate students took the opportunity to compete.

“It took a weight off our shoulders and gave us an opportunity to be just known as Liberty,” freshman Sruthi Ramesh said, regarding the change.

On Friday, speech events took place. Freshman Christina Bertenshaw competed for speech and chose radio speaking for her event and wrote a 5 minute speech on news, weather, sports and put it together as if you were listening on the radio. Mason Johnson also competed in radio speaking. The tournament was the second tournament for the team.  

“I feel more confident. I’m not getting thrown in the deep end this time,” Bertenshaw said before competing for her second time in speech and debate.

Emily Barnett
Christina Bertenshaw reads over her radio speaking speech while waiting for competition to arrive.

On Saturday, all debate events took place. Freshmen Sanjana Anand, Mahathi Manikandan and Maddie Sanderson all competed in the debate portion of the tournament. Anand, who made it to quarterfinals last tournament, took the opportunity to participate in Lincoln Douglas debate which focused on the topic, “The United States ought not to provide military aid to authoritarian regimes.” Manikandan and Sanderson both participated in public forum. 

“It’s gone really smoothly because the event is not as big as Pattonville even though there are a lot of schools competing,” Manikandan said regarding the tournament.

The goal in a speech and debate tournament is to break, or continue to the next round. In a tournament, you go in a designated room with all the competitors and judges take your score from your ballads and put you against everybody. You compete a few times and you wait to see if you break and go to the next round. If you don’t break then you are done for the day. If you do break, you go to quarterfinals, semifinals, etc.

While Liberty had no competitors qualify as a finalist, the speech and debate team gave it their all. Overall, the team was grateful to have gained experience and continue to improve for future tournaments.

About the Contributor
Emily Barnett, Reporter

Emily Barnett is a freshman and is excited to start journalism and take part in  publications class. At school, she is involved in track and cross country...

1 Comment

One Response to “Liberty Speech and Debate Gains Experience”

  1. Mason Johnson on February 22nd, 2019 1:45 pm

    Oh hey, that’s me. Being in S&D was one of the best choices I made, even better than that time I thought to purchase $100 worth of Robux in ROBLOX.

    …and yes, I did do that. I still have it to this day. Don’t @ me.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Liberty Speech and Debate Gains Experience