GBHS Debate Team Kicks Off Season at Halstead Tournament

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Halstead— Sept. 16, 2018 — The coach is different, but the success is familiar as twelve GBHS debaters travelled to Halstead on Saturday to compete in the first debate tournament of the 2018 season.
“I was really impressed with our debaters, particularly our novices, most of whom had never even seen a round of debate,” said Kim Heath, first year debate coach at GBHS, “we finished in 4th place out 16 schools. It was awesome to see our kids start the season so strong.” Heath has taken over for Barbara Watson who retired from Great Bend High School at the end of last year.
“Our topic this year is immigration,” said Heath, “with all of the press this topic is getting lately, our debaters have really begun to see the real-world implications of the arguments they are making in the debate rounds.”
Leading the Panther Debate squad at Halstead were Geoffrey Pafford and Daniel Abbott who finished in 8th place with a 4-1 record. Pafford is a 4th year debater and Abbott, although a junior, has never debated before this year. “I was so proud of Daniel and Geoffrey. For them to go 4-1 at Daniel’s first ever tournament is a testament to both the potential of Daniel and the leadership of Geoffrey. I am really excited to see how they develop throughout the season,” said Heath.
The other experienced duo on this year’s squad is Bayle Sandy and Patrick Heath, both third-year debaters. Sandy and Heath went 3-2 on the day, but faced some of the toughest competition the tournament had to offer. The duo defeated the eventual tournament champs from Sterling, lost to the 2nd and 3rd place teams, and defeated the 4th place team. “Rarely does a team face all four of the top medal winners in a tournament,” said Coach Heath. “Their 3-2 record is amazing, considering the talent they were facing in every round.”
In the novice division, the team of C.J. Gibson and Robby Brining placed 8th out of 26 teams from 16 schools, winning 3 rounds and dropping 2. Also going 3-2 was the team of Skylar Fletcher and Malachi Wasson. Other novices competing included the team of Paige Byerly and Tia Mitchell going 2-3 and the team of Isaiah Smith and Dalton Ruble who finished 1-4. Attending the tournament, but not debating was the team of Natalie Bayona and Citraly Torres.
The novices will next debate on Tuesday at Ellinwood and both experienced and novice debaters will travel to Hays High on September 29th.

Photo attached:
Back row l to r: Isaiah Smith, Patrick Heath, Natalie Bayona, Daniel Abbott, Geoffrey Pafford, Robby Brining, C.J. Gibson
Middle Row l to r: Dalton Ruble, Bayle Sandy, Citraly Torres, Tia Mitchell, Skylar Fletcher, Malachi Wasson
Front: Paige Byerly

For more info:
Dan Heath
[email protected]

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