Northwest Debate Team Ends Good Season

During the first semester of the school year, the Northwest debate squad tours its argumentative skills around the city of Wichita and beyond in an effort to take home medals and maybe, just maybe qualify for state championships. With a topic that focuses on United States military presence in foreign countries this year, the debaters have to take advantage of their speechcraft skills in arguments against other schools in the area.

“I feel accomplished, senior Matt Dwier said. Dwier, along with his partner, senior Daithin Wyckoff, has taken home five medals so far this season.

This feeling of accomplishment comes from participating in and winning some rounds that Dwier finds frustrating.

“It can be annoying trying to get your points across,” Dwier said.

Despite the headaches debate can cause, Dwier is still enjoying his second year of debate.

“I like arguing,” Dwier said.

Debate teacher Shawn Wingfield is proud to have so many students qualifying for state. Students are working hard and improving their skills.

“There is more of a commitment on part of their work ethic. There is more interest to excel,” Wingfield said.

Wyckoff, who has taken debate on and off since his freshman year, was first inspired by the activity before he even started high school.

“I saw a practice debate in 8th grade while shadowing at East High” Wyckoff said about why he joined debate.

Wyckoff prepares for competitions by doing research on the computer and practicing his speaking. But what is a typical debate competition like? In Wyckoff’s own words a debate competition can only be described as “mind-shattering.”

Many of the varsity debaters are seniors this year, which will drastically change next year’s team.

“I hope people who aren’t taking debate will sign up for the class,” Wingfield said.