City High Debate Sets Expectations High


Rhys Holman

Simon Weiss ’20 practices taking notes for debate

Rhys Holman, Executive Website Editor

After a summer’s worth of debate prep, City High’s varsity debate team of Simon Weiss ‘20 and Ellis Chen ‘20 are aiming their sights high. 

“Our goal is to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. [We’re] trying to go out with a bang because it’s our last year and our last chance to make a name for ourselves,” Weiss said.

The Tournament of Champions, commonly referred to as the TOC, is the most prestigious high school debate tournament in the country. Held at the end of the debate season, the TOC features the best teams from across the country who have qualified during the year in order to attend. Though the debate team has said that this is a lofty goal, its members are optimistic they’ll be up to the challenge.

“We’ve got another year of experience under our belts,” Chen said. “I felt that last year was very educational for us and we spent a lot of time over the summer preparing for this debate season.”

But in order to be successful, Weiss and Chen are making sure they have the preparation required to succeed at tournaments.

“A lot of it comes down to the work that we put in before we go to tournaments,” Weiss said.  “We have a great schedule that we worked on before the season started, so we’ll have a lot of opportunities to show the work that we’ve done.”

In order to prepare further, Weiss and Chen are incorporating new strategies that City High debate hasn’t in the past.

“This year we’re collaborating with West High a lot more than in the past so that we can get more experience debating,” Chen said. “Having someone with a fresh perspective to look at our arguments and tell us how they’re flawed…helps us improve our arguments.”

With this preparation and the effort put in over the summer, Weiss and Chen hope to have their best season yet.

“I’m excited to have another opportunity for competitive success and just making this year an important year because it’s our last year,” Weiss said. “It’s something we’ve been doing for a long time and we want to make sure we have a team that continues.”