The Orcas Debate team has had an exciting start to their fall and winter season. Two weeks ago — November 4 — the team traveled to Sedro-Woolley to compete in a district-qualifying tournament. Although the team did not qualify for a bid for state, competitor Devon Mann secured third place in Lincoln Douglas debate.
The next week, on November 11, the team traveled to Snohomish for their second tournament of the season. Warmed up and ready to go, Orcas debaters Devon Mann and Gunnar Sandwith both qualified for semifinals in Lincoln Douglas debate with 4-2 win loss records.
Both Mann and Sandwith won their semi-final rounds, ensuring Orcas’ presence in the top two spots. Mann and Sandwith faced off in a small room filled with friends, observers and the three judges. Mann emerged victorious, winning first place in the tournament and with a bid for the state tournament in April.
“I feel great,” Mann said with a grin, when asked about her victory. “Debate is always fun, but it’s a great feeling to win. The fact that Gunnar got second place is just icing on the cake. He’s my competitor but he’s also my teammate. Plus —” she added, “it was my birthday. I get a state bid as a present for my 18th birthday.”
Mann and Sandwith weren’t the only Orcas competitors at Snohomish. Rowan Lister broke into Super Congress and Orcas students competed in everything from extemporaneous speeches to slam poetry. The Orcas Island debate team has asked that a special thank you be extended to the Orcas Island Educational Foundation and for all other forms of community support that the debate club has received that makes all this possible.