Vermillion debate team travels to Watertown

Vermillion debate team travels to Watertown Despite last weekend's wintry weather, the Vermillion Debate Team trekked to Watertown for the 56th annual Watertown Speech Fiesta.

The Speech Fiesta has long been one the Midwest's most prestigious debate tournaments, this year hosting teams from four states.

Vermillion's junior varsity team, Nahuel Telleria and Monica Gutzman, won three out of five rounds, beating teams from both Sioux Falls Lincoln and Aberdeen Central. This is impressive, since Lincoln and Aberdeen are among the upper echelon of South Dakota debate squads, having both reached the finals in varsity debate.

Vermillion's varsity team, Josephine Kabambi and Molly Green, were one win away from "breaking" to the quarter-finals, defeating teams from Aberdeen Central and Huron and winning two of three rounds on the difficult, "negative" side of this year's resolution: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Lincoln-Douglas debater Hannah Pommersheim has also been doing quite well, winning six of her last nine rounds and a speaker award at the "Silver Bowl," hosted by Sioux Falls Lincoln. The current Lincoln-Douglas topic is Resolved: Democracy is best served by strict separation of church and state.

Novice debaters Maggie Green, Amanda Barton, and Micaela Telleria have been improving throughout the year as well. This season has been a rebuilding year, after the departure of coach Samuel Bobby and four seniors, but first year coach, Jeffrey Connolly has been a wonderful addition to the team, leading Vermillion to "A" sweepstakes awards at several tournaments.

Vermillion debate has high hopes for the rest of the tournaments this year, including the state tournament, where Vermillion will have an excellent chance to defend its "A" State Championship.

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