Debate Sees Early Success


Courtesy of Ryan Hennessey's twitter

Debate sweeps Cy-Lakes, and gathers to take a photo.


The Speech and Debate team had a rough start this year along with the rest of the community. The first two tournaments of the year were canceled due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, leaving the team behind other schools in the state. Despite being late coming out of the gate the team has seen early success.

“After the Kingwood High School Tournament, we left with three sweepstakes awards,” senior Wade Ivey said “meaning we were the top scoring in speech events and in debate events. So, I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far. I am the prepared speaking captain this year, so I especially think that improvements are being made in the extemporaneous, and impromptu events since Klein High had a clear majority of the finals bracket in both.”

The team also had a student go to a tournament at St. Marks High School in Dallas with another speech and debate student from Klein Oak. The district doesn’t allow travel without a school representative, so the pair travelled with the Klein Oak assistant debate coach.

“I am the first student from Klein High School to earn a bid to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Lincoln Douglas Debate,” senior Nate Galang said. “The TOC is the most prestigious debate tournament in the country. It is hosted every year at the University of Kentucky, and is very hard to qualify for.”

Having members go to the Tournament of Champions is only one of the goals the team has set for this year. Their coach outlined a few.

“I expect to have three people go to nationals in extemporaneous speaking,” Ivey said. “There is no doubt in my mind that with the performances we have already seen out of our squad this year that we could go to [Nationals] and make Klein a name to remember.”

The National tournament for speech and debate this year is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The team is hoping that they first make it to state in LaVernia, Texas.

“Not to roast Lavernia or anything,” junior Hanaa Irfan said. “But it’s kind of located in the middle of nowhere. Which is making me look more forward to Nationals this year. This year we have to get a hotel in San Antonio, and then drive thirty minutes to the high school. Which isn’t the best.”

The debate side of speech and debate has also been making an impression this year. At the Kingwood High and the Cy Woods tournaments Klein teams took home first place in public forum debate.

“We actually closed out the Kingwood High tournament in semi-finals,” said sophomore Fatima Raja. “Which means that we had so many Klein teams advance that the next round that there is no other team to debate, and the winner is chosen based on speaker points from the previous rounds.”

“Fatima and I were really excited to take home first,” said sophomore Fatima Welch. “The team got trophies for first through fourth place, and our Public Forum debate program was pretty excited about this. It also led to our point totals being above the Woodlands High School team for the debate sweepstakes award.”

This is an important season for members who are headed toward graduation.

“I have been here since the first day of freshman year,” Ivey said. “And I have loved every moment of this experience. The people are lovely and the relationships are rewarding. This year I want to honor that by doing better than any year before.”