Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

High school debate teams to battle at Liberty High

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George Hagegeorge⁄Special to The Gazette
Chad Will performs the song ‘‘Thirteen,” which took first place Thursday at South Carroll High School’s Idol talent show.
Top high school debate teams in Carroll County will face off at a final tournament Saturday at Liberty High School, 5855 Bartholow Road, Eldersburg.

Students will debate Russia being a threat to U.S. interests. The tournament begins at 8 a.m.; awards, at 7:30 p.m.

The Carroll County Debate League was created this school year to provide students with debate experience in a competitive atmosphere. Students tested their training and skills by analyzing issues, researching evidence and preparing and presenting persuasive arguments.

‘‘To me, it puts the skills together of all the things we’re trying to teach kids,” said Stan Day, coordinator of the league and a retired debate teacher, who resides in Winfield.

Debate provides an intellectual competition for the ‘‘real sharp kids who don’t get the chance to test themselves,” Day said.

Adam Wilson, South Carroll High School’s debate team advisor, said his team members prepared and researched throughout the year for their tournaments. The school will send six teams of two members to the final tournament.

Teams qualify for the final if they participated in at least two tournaments and have a winning record, Wilson said. Teams that did not qualify will debate each other on Saturday, but will not be in the final, he added.

The key to winning a debate is reasoning, Wilson said. ‘‘The team that wins is the team that generally presents a coherent, reasonable justification to the judge.”

Wilson added that students might begin a topic with a preconceived idea, but it’s best for them to keep an open mind.

Day said Century High will send four teams and Liberty High will have one team.

Four tournaments were held during the school year in which students debated the soft partition of Iraq, budget deficits, military options against Iran and the use of civil disobedience. Fifty-three teams participated in 172 rounds with 50 parents and teachers evaluating their efforts.

Teams study debate topics that are released monthly by National Forensics Week.

Members of the community with speech or debate experience may judge a few rounds of the tournament. Contact Day at for more information.

Century High

Century High’s sophomore class is sponsoring a Valentine’s rock concert to raise money for its junior⁄senior prom.

The concert is 5:15 to 10 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department hall, 6680 Sykesville Road, Sykesville. Doors open at 4:45 p.m.

Cost is $8 and tickets will be available at the door the night of the event as well as select lunch periods at Century High, 355 Ronsdale Road, Eldersburg; Liberty High, 5855 Bartholow Road, Eldersburg; and South Carroll High, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Sykesville.

For more information, visit⁄carrollcountyindependentrock online.