Debate team returns to hosting annual tournament


Andrews Mclellan, co-entertainment editor

The Oxford High School Speech & Debate team has hosted its first competition here since 2018. The competition consisted of 8 schools and put on a competitive event for the teams to compete. Oxford’s Speech & Debate Squad is coached by Ryne Bankston. Bankston also coaches the OHS Bowling, OHS Chess and OHS Esports teams. Bankston and his team wanted to make sure that the schools will remember this competition greater than any other.

The very first step to hosting a big event is to plan it all out from the start. Bankston had his team working different jobs throughout the competition to keep the work flowing. These Jobs ranged from working the concession stands all the way to getting to be a judge during the other teams’ debates.

We gathered together and created a concise plan of action as a team. We were able to pool together the mental power of our team members and parents,” said Bankston. “We were able to split the responsibilities of judging, food preparation, and directions for guests among our helpers.”

The competition brought in many different schools from around the state so the debate team wanted to make sure everything went flawlessly. The team put on their best work throughout this competition and after the success the team is ready to continue hosting these events.

“For the future, we have a planned tournament here at OHS in February. This is part of the Jackson Catholic Forensic League,” said Bankston. “After its success, we are planning to make this Charger Challenge into an annual event.”

William Berry is a Senior at OHS and serves as a captain of the OHS debate team. Berry has played a great role in making the competition great and run smoothly, and has been a leader on the team all throughout his high school career.

“Hosting a tournament was new for us, that being said it was very exciting,” said Berry. “We had lots of helpers from the OHS team and parents that were able to be judges themselves.”

Even though OHS Debate wasn’t able to compete in the competition they learned a whole lot from hosting. Getting to learn another team’s strategies can help you to perfect your skills and perform better.

“From setting up rooms, to judging novice rounds there was no shortage of things to be done,” said Berry. “The best part was organizing the trophies for the final ceremony, where I got to read out all of the competitors’ awards.”

Speech & Debate tests the skills of each student’s skills at comprehending information as well as building an argument on the subject. The debates can range from all different types of arguments making the students learn all different sorts of information.

“Debate is special because it’s more than some extracurricular or competition, it represents a diverse and tight-knit group of people,” said Berry. “It is a refreshing pocket of community love and competition.”