That’s debatable

Speech and debate team building new foundation


Courtesy of Terence Fitzgerald

Sept. 24, 2019 – The speech and debate team poses after finishing the tournament at Houston County High School. Junior Ben Gibbas placed second in the Human Interpretation event.

Tru Robbins, Staff Writer

Debate can teach students to be comfortable in front of a crowd, while developing speaking skills necessary for future success. Here at Starr’s Mill, the speech and debate team is alive and thriving with English teacher Terence Fitzgerald coaching for his second year.

“So much of what the team does is building towards something that they are going to do later in life,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s also something that makes them so stimulated intellectually, it’s like mental chess club.”

This year, many new freshmen joined the team, which was perfect considering how many seniors graduated last year. Fitzgerald is impressed at how far they have progressed. 

The returning teammates, like Quinn Biddle and Aulden Jones, have taken the newbies under their wing, and helped them with their arguments.

“A lot of kids from last year have taken the next step and are mentoring the new kids,” Fitzgerald said.

The team of 26 competitors has plans to attend 13 tournaments this year. This is a big step considering that McIntosh High School is only competing in five. They are competing in so many tournaments in order to try and get everyone qualified for state. Last year, Micheal King earned 4th place in the state tournament. FItzgerald’s goal is eventually to make it to nationals.

“I want us to be a tour de force, like everybody’s afraid of Starr’s Mill,” Fitzgerald said.

Since last year was a transition to a new coach, this year is all about the grind to create a strong foundation in order to build upon the team’s tradition of excellence.