Due to a successful year, debate team going to nationals.

Etta Harkness-Bartholdi, Staff writer

The Debate team qualified for the National Forensic League national tournament  when they went to the district tournament on January 21-22. South’s Debate teams junior Jacob Boucher and sophomore Lillie Ouellette -Howitz came first, and juniors Cole Johnson-Jensen and Oskar Tauring-Traxler came in 2nd, out of three spots to attend the National Forensic League.

The tournament take place in Indianapolis in June, 10-15. The Debate team has had an exceptional year, on January 13 and 14 the team competed and cleared two teams at the State Tournament. No other school cleared two teams at that level.

When recalling the defeat sophomore and quarterfinalist Ouellette-Howitz said, “my expectation was just to qualify,” but Ouellette-Howitz and Boucher, a quarterfinalist team, cleared and qualified. They lost the state championship to Edina but juniors Cole Johnson-Jensen and Oskar Tauring-Traxler defeated Edina’s second team.

Tauring-Traxler had a similar attitude, saying that “we compete with the same people all year, so we sort of all ready know the strengths of the other teams so we all knew who was going to win.”

Ouellette-Howitz  added that the tournament went longer than expected, “it got extended because people did differently than we expected.”

Taurig-Traxler is looking forward the trip to Indianapolis, saying that “debate tournaments only take two days, so we have two days of relaxing and hanging out in the hotel.”

Along with sending two teams to state they also won the Minnesota Debate Teacher Association (MDTA) Cup, for winning the most local tournaments across Minnesota. They are the first Urban Debate League school to win this award.

“It is really amazing how debate has not only helped me to better understand materials in class, but also helped me to understand how our society functions,” said Ouellette-Howitz “and how we as individuals can change the world around us.”

Ouellette-Howitz said she is impressed with the team this year, but she also said that “what really stands out from the season is the time we spent just hanging out, learning, and having fun. I think at this point we are all glad to have a break, and are of course looking forward to nationals and another fantastic season next year.”