Speech and Debate returns in-person

Josh Tae, Staffer

This year, Lake Oswego High School’s speech and debate team has been all online due to the pandemic. After coming back from a full year of online tournaments, the team has confidence that a sense of normalcy will return with the coming in-person tournament happening in January. 

Due to a lack of experienced members, the members of the Novice team have been moved up to varsity. Alex Aghdaei, junior Team Leader, isn’t worried about this influx of inexperienced members. “I’m not really worried about having a lot of novices on the team. Because there are less experienced members, it’s like a changing of the guard,” Aghdaei said. With a lot of kids being new to the event, many of them underclassmen, the new members have been needed to step up and learn quickly. 

The team has competed in two tournaments so far, placing against numerous schools: freshmen, Sarah al Qirem (2nd place in Novice Extemp, 1st place in Novice Poetry); sophomores,  Ian Le (3rd place cross examination debate speaker award), Renee Liu (2nd place in Congressional Debate, 3rd place in open Congressional debate, 3rd place in open extemp, open impromptu finalist, 3rd place in Open POI), Albert Wang (3rd place Cross Examination debate speaker award,; junior, Lauren Zhang (undefeated in senior division of Lincoln Douglas); senior, Sungah Ko (1st place Open LIELL). 

Lauren Zhang, junior Team Leader, spoke of her excitement  for the upcoming tournament this winter and  the differences that come with online tournaments. “We haven’t had any in person tournaments yet, and the online tournaments come with a new format. But it’s great to see a lot of people who are super enthusiastic to get back into extracurriculars,” Zhang said. She is not only thrilled to compete for herself but for the novices to experience a real competition.