Speech and Debate wins second place in Sweepstakes at 3B tournament

Juniors+Sammy+Elliot+%28left%29+and+Kevin+Soto+%28right%29+discuss+the+Lincoln+Douglas+debate+topic+%E2%80%9Cstates+ought+to+eliminate+their+nuclear+arsenals%E2%80%9D.+They+sat+down+during+a+break+between+rounds+during+the+3B+tournament+at+Westview+High+School+on+Feb.+1%2C+2020.

Gloria Ing

Juniors Sammy Elliot (left) and Kevin Soto (right) discuss the Lincoln Douglas debate topic “states ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals”. They sat down during a break between rounds during the 3B tournament at Westview High School on Feb. 1, 2020.

Gloria Ing, Photographer

 A number of members in the Bonita Vista High (BVH) Speech and Debate team expressed anxiety and determination, as they competed in tournament 3B. This was their last tournament  in the 2019-2020 school year for the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League (SDIVSL) which took place on Feb. 1st, 2020 at Westview High. The 3B tournament was the last before the State Qualifiers and involved a cumulative “Sweepstakes” ranking that the BVH team hoped to score high on.

Gloria Ing
Juniors Sammy Elliot (left) and Kevin Soto (right) discuss the Lincoln Douglas debate topic “states ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals”. They sat down during a break between rounds during the 3B tournament at Westview High School on Feb. 1, 2020.

“Bonita [Vista High] really wants to get that first place. Everyone on the team is working really hard to get into [the] finals room for speech tournaments [and to make] rankings go up for us. Sweepstakes in this tournament is one of the biggest things that I know the team is looking forward to,” Public Relations officer and sophomore Abby Roman said.

One of the Speech and Debate team’s main goals since the beginning of the season has been to earn first place in Sweepstakes and finally surpass Carlsbad High School (CHS), who has won the title consecutively every year. 

“Sweepstakes is calculated cumulatively based on three tournaments, which are comprised of all the Speech and Debate events. They calculate which school will have the most people getting into final rounds and the most people winning rounds,”  junior and President of Speech and Debate and junior Ursula Neuner said. 

The 3B tournament included events such as Policy, Congress and Lincoln Douglas debate.

Throughout the 3B tournament, participants underwent many rounds performing their best to help the team acquire Sweepstakes points. In the end, BVH placed 2nd in Sweepstakes, which was an improvement from last year, where BVH consistently placed 3rd behind Helix High School and Carlsbad High School. 

“I’m so ecstatic.This is the first time in maybe three years that we’ve got top two in sweepstakes. I’m so happy that I got to be a part of this. I can’t even put it into words,”  Neuner said. 

BVH also left with numerous participants earning medals for their performance: Neuner and Vice President of Debate and senior Cameron Loughney each earned a medal for going undefeated. That night, Elliott also received a medal for going  3-1 in his rounds. At previous tournaments such as 3A and 3C, BVH also performed very well, according to IB English Literature HL 2 teacher and Speech and Debate Coach Eric Helle.

According to Speech and Debate member and junior, Sammy Elliott, in their  efforts to reach success, Speech and Debate participants dedicate a lot of time to research, creating methods for when they debate, all in order to perform well for sweepstakes. 

“[One method I use is working with briefs], as well as [utilizing] the support system through the team. [We got] briefs from actually pitching in and buying the actual thing[s], which had cards of [evidence] and topic analysis. I got cards from other people, discussed arguments, and [we] narrowed [the information down more,” Elliott said. 

With the second place Sweepstakes win, the Speech and Debate team is redirecting their energy into preparation for their upcoming state qualifying tournaments. These tournaments will take place on Saturdays Feb. 22, 29 and March 6.

“Now is when we will get to crunch time. The third set of tournaments is the preliminary [step]. So after we get back from our Jackrabbit Invitational [on Feb 8], we [will] then start preparing for the state qualifying tournaments, which is our [equivalent to] CIF playoffs. We’re going to be working with that, and we hope to qualify a number of students for the stage here,” Helle said.