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Sophomore Takes First Place in Debate Tournament

Joe Kinler, Staff Writer

Arriving at the TCC campus, sophomore Henry Jones and his debate team prepare for another UIL tournament. The tournament would be smaller than most, including only 11 Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debaters, and Jones felt ready to go.

“I thought I was going to win, but the tournament was really unorganized,” Jones said. “Normally the rounds are power matched with people who go 3-0 in their rounds going against other 3-0’s, but these rounds were matched together randomly.”

The tournament consists of four LD debate rounds. Jones prepares his cases before his round and reflects on his topic. The spring UIL topic “Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of a commodity,” interested him. He found it to be a challenging topic and looked forward to his first round.

“I wanted to see if I could turn my opponents values against them,” Jones said. “I also wanted to try to persuade the judges if I could.”

After three rounds, Jones was undefeated. He had one round left and he felt energized. He was confident in his cases, and ready to tackle his last round. He realized this could be a big moment for him.

“I felt pretty good [before the final round],” Jones said. “ It wasn’t unbelievable, but it was still exciting.”

Once the fourth and final round was over, the victor was decided. Being the only debater at the tournament to go undefeated, Jones took first place. Even with the victory, he knows he still has room for improvement and seeks to further expand his skills.

“I want to get better speaker points,” Jones said. “However, I have good contentions and arguments.”

Since winning his first tournament, Jones has been looking forward to the future. In his debate career he hopes to go as far as he possibly can. He feels he has an opportunity to achieve, learn, and grow.

“One of my goals this year is to make it to state,” Jones said. “ It [the tournament] gave me the feeling that I’m going to do good.”

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