Debate team competes at Pascagoula tournament


Davan Reece

Debate members gather to make final notes before starting the tournament.

Violet Jira, Opinion Editor

Leaving thoughts of tests and research papers behind, MSMS students headed south to Pascagoula High School for the annual Pascagoula Singing River Classic debate tournament on Nov. 15-16. The students competed in a variety of different and rigorous categories, several students coming home with wins under their belts. 

Coach and sponsor Lori Pierce expected nothing less of the students. 

“For most students, this was the first or second debate tournament they have ever participated in, so their goals were to learn and improve. They all were able to accomplish that goal,” Pierce said. “Our speech and debate students improve at every tournament, and I look forward to their continued success at tournaments in the spring.” 

Junior Aaron Wan saw the competition not only as a chance to compete but as a chance to visit with friends from home. 

“It was nice catching up with old friends from debate, so I look forward to competing again,” he said. “I think the team did well collectively, especially considering the fact that this was only the first or second debate tournament for the majority of our team members.” 

Wan, along with his partner junior Micheal Lu, competed in the Public Forum debate, winning every one of their debates and bringing home a first place trophy. 

Junior Andrew Ignatius enjoyed the opportunity to see his friends from his home school as well, along with all of the other perks debate has to offer. 

Courtesy of Davan Reece
MSMS Debate Coach Lori Peirce (Left) stads with Abigal Strain, Cooper Jordan, Davan Reece, Christian Fulcher, Aaron Wan, Michael Lu and Andrew Ignatius.

“I am definitely looking forward to competing again because we get to stay in a nice hotel paid for by the school, leave class early on Fridays, and talk to my old friends at debate about what has been happening where they are, and just talking about current events,” he said. 

Ignatius, who has been competing in debate tournaments since his sophomore year, competed in the Congressional debate where he advanced to the finals, placing among the top eight in his chamber. 

Other students who competed over the weekend included Christian Fulcher, Cooper Jordan, Skyler Nguyen, Davan Reece and Abby Strain. 

Ignatius looked back on his time as a novice, or first year, debater and only had good things to say about his teammates. 

“The team’s performance as a whole is quite outstanding, as we had multiple novices advance to the semifinals or finals of the event they were competing in, and the seasoned debaters even won an entire event. With hard work, dedication, and practice, then the MSMS team can certainly triumph over the competition,” he said. “The novices this year were way better than me when I was a novice. This means that there is so much potential for the team, it just has to be molded into what we want it to be.” 

 The team has plans to compete in more debate competitions across the state in the spring.