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The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

MSMS crowds leaderboards at JCFL Qualifying Debate Tournament

Courtesy of Mariane Powell
Seniors Mariane Powell (left) and Lucianna Marquez point to their names on the National Catholic Forensic League Public Forum qualifiers list from the Junior Catholic Forensic League tournament on Feb. 9-10.

Eight MSMS students qualified for the May 25-26 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament in Chicago: seniors Mariane Powell, Lucianna Marquez and Jacob Neal along with juniors Ruth Albright, Megan Colley, Yaerim Choi, Clara Jennings and Jaidyn Bryant. 

To qualify for the tournament, students had to compete at the Jackson Catholic Forensic League National Qualifiers Tournament or be in a category in which six or fewer teams signed up to compete. The JCFL Tournament was held at Jackson Preparatory School on Feb. 9-10.

Six speech events and four debate events will be hosted at the GNT. Of these events, Powell and Marquez will compete in Public Forum, Neal and Albright will compete in Lincoln-Douglas, Colley and Choi will compete in Policy and Jennings and Bryant will compete in Duo Interpretation.

The students were prepared for the JCFL Tournament by their coach, Sonya Harvey. Although Speech and Debate Club meets every Tuesday after school, Harvey said what earned the competitors’ spots on the leaderboard was the time they spent outside of meetings writing cases and researching topics. 

“They’re pretty self-sufficient. I come on Tuesdays, and we do logistical things. Sometimes they’ll practice a little bit, but I think they work together and have practices outside of our time on Tuesdays. They divide up their responsibilities, and I think it’s paid off; they had so many qualifiers,” Harvey said. 

Speech and Debate Club Secretary Powell and Co-President Marquez coordinated the trip to the JCFL Tournament and competed in the Public Forum category together. In this style of debate, two pairs of students deliberate over a nationally or internationally relevant question with heavy emphasis on logic and fact.

Powell said she had a great time competing and was happy she and her fellow officers managed to pull the trip together, especially since qualifying through the JCFL Tournament will give the juniors an early opportunity to compete nationally.

“I’m really proud of all of us and especially our juniors. I’m also proud of the other officers and I for pulling this [trip to the] tournament together,” Powell said. “It was kind of touch-and-go for a while with the paperwork and getting a chaperone, but it just means so much for us to be able to share these experiences with next year’s leaders.”

Albright debated in the Lincoln-Douglas category at the JCFL Tournament. In this type of debate, two students argue over the morals and philosophies of a political or social issue. She said debating at Jackson Preparatory School was a unique and pleasant experience. It was a very competitive environment, she said, but it wasn’t too stressful.

Albright said even though she only started debating five months ago, she was excited to break into a nationally recognized space as a competitor. 

“I was kind of speechless when I found out [I qualified]. I’ve never really had an opportunity to compete in anything nationally before, so this is a first for me. I was super happy, and I’m very, very excited,” Albright said. 

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Morgan Smith, Staff Writer
Morgan Smith is a junior from Corinth. She joined The Vision to share her opinions and contribute to MSMS’s diverse pool of thought. Aside from The Vision, she spends her time reading, knitting, baking and enjoying other grandma activities. She hopes to continue fostering her love for languages by expanding her knowledge of both English and Spanish.

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