Debate team succeeds at competitions.

Max and Jake Freeman lead team to highest placements so far

Debate team grew in the last year to double their size

Anousha Rao/Talon

Debate team grew in the last year to double their size

The Oak Park Debate team recently participated in several competitions, on Sept. 23 and Oct. 27.

Debate club’s Oct. 27 competition was a novice competition. 5 novices received “superior rank,” where they won 2 out of 3 rounds, and student Mina Jung won all 3 rounds and received a trophy. Additionally, freshman Anusha Rao placed first overall for the entire Lincoln Douglas tournament.

On Sept. 23, out of 143 schools, Oak Park’s teams won third place overall, where both Max and Jake Freeman placed 4th in California, with Jake placing 15th in California in ‘Lincoln Douglas,’ as well

The debate team is led by two captains, seniors Max and Jake Freeman. The members debate a topic on both the negative and affirmative side, and compete in several competitions throughout the year.

“At our two most recent tournaments this year Oak Park received multiple awards,” Max Freeman wrote to the Talon. “Notably, at the Long Beach invitational tournament, among more than 140 top public and private schools in the country, Oak Park placed third overall.”

According to Max Freeman, the team has grown each year since the beginning of the club’s existence. In their second year, he said that he and his brother, Jake Freeman, made it to state championships.

“At this tournament, I placed 4th overall in Lincoln Douglas debate and my brother placed in the top 20,” Max Freeman said. “A year after that, we again made it to the tournament, this time placing among the top 40 debaters in the state.”

Debate Club is a group of more than 40 students who work to compete in high school level debate across California.

“We practice twice a week, from 2:30 to 4:30, and sometimes past that, on Mondays and Thursdays,” sophomore and debate member Akhila Johnny said. “Mondays are mandatory practices for all members, and Thursdays are optional ‘Novice Advisory,’ days, where varsity players come to help the novices, and some people from junior varsity and varsity come to work on cases or to practice, but everyone is welcome.”

Debate Club is organized into three teams: varsity, junior varsity and novice, as well as three types of debate.

The three types of debate the team performs in competitions are Living Douglas with a one-on-one form of debating a topic, Public Forum where groups of two from opposing school’s debate and Parli, where a topic is provided and debated 20 minutes later on the spot.

“We have different groups to practice Living Douglas, Public Forum and Parli so that we as a team are prepared for all types come competition,” Johnny said.

According to Johnny, debate is a valuable extracurricular which teaches students many real life skills.

“Overall, I had a great time at competition, and I learned a lot,” Johnny said. “I worked on my public speaking, I learned how debate works and most of all, from the experience itself, I gained all kinds of incredible skills like thinking on my feet and working under pressure, and I think I am going to be a better student and more rounded individual for it.”