Pinecrest Seniors Win National Debate Contest
Two Pinecrest High School students recently took top honors for their gift of arguing.
Michael Adams and Kyle Newman, members of the Pinecrest Speech and Debate Team, won the Public Forum Debate at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament.
The tournament was held in Baltimore May 25-27.
“We didn’t even expect to make it to elimination rounds,” Adams said. “It was crazy going from round to round to round. Even when we won, the whole experience was surreal for me.”
The National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament is one of the country’s largest debate competitions. Almost 3,000 students from more than 750 schools compete in a variety of speech and debate activities, including Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Congressional Debate, Dramatic Performance, and Extemporaneous Speaking.
“Public Forum is a two-person event where you and your partner go against another two-person team,” Newman said. “You argue on current events, and the whole goal is to be more persuasive and to have better evidence than the other team.”
This year’s Public Forum topic was “Resolved: Increasing U.S. energy production should take precedence over protecting the environment.” The two argued for both sides of this issue over the course of 10 rounds.
Adams and Newman, both seniors, have been involved with the team for three years, but this was the first time they debated together. Adams had been planning to debate alongside junior Nick Temple, but Temple withdrew due to family activities. Newman joined Adams a week before the tournament, and the two struggled to make up for lost time.
“Michael and Kyle are both exceptional young men,” said Libby Carter, speech and debate teacher at Pinecrest and head coach for the team. “They are quick-thinkers and polished speakers. … They put so much effort into debating, and obviously, it is this kind of effort and dedication that have paid off in a National Championship.”
In addition, senior Zac Hoffman came in fifth place out of 250 in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and junior Connor Goggin advanced to Semi-Super Congress in Congressional Debate.
“This is a win for North Carolina,” Carter said. “It keeps the Pinecrest name at the forefront of the national debate circuit. … It should be a matter of pride not just for the school, but for our school district and the community as well.”
Contact Andrew Soboeiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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