Debate Team Begins Season With Success


Vince Woolums

Ellis Chen ’20 and Simon Weiss ’20 pose after the tournament with their awards

Rhys Holman, Executive Website Editor

The high school policy debate season is now three months in and so far City High’s Ellis Chen ‘20 and Simon Weiss ‘20 have found significant success in the early portions of the season.

“Earlier this month we got our first bid to the Tournament of Champions and also ended up winning a tournament held at West Des Moines Valley,” said Weiss. “[The tournament] featured over 40 teams from eight different states.”

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. But their success hasn’t been isolated to doing well in the tournament overall, but has also included recognition of their individual skills as debaters.

“I won first speaker at the Niles Invitational tournament, which was a tournament with about 80 different teams where we were also quarterfinalists,” said Chen. “I was also fourth speaker at the Valley invitational, which had over 80 people total.”

“First speaker” means that he won the first-place speaker award for the tournament. These awards are determined by point values given to each debater at the end of each round. They are meant to recognize the individual skill of debtors at tournaments regardless of their team’s record. Despite this success, Chen and Weiss are looking forward and hoping to find even more victories as the season progresses.

“We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and we’re optimistic that we’re going to be successful in the future.” said Weiss.