Louisburg Debaters are State Champions!!
The 4A state 2-speaker debate tournament started on Friday, January 15, 2016, at Independence High School, with 72 teams contending for the state title. Eleven rounds and 17 hours of debate later, this grueling tournament eventually had its champions at 10pm Saturday night. That team? Louisburg’s own, Carson Tappan and Curran Conklin, who finished unblemished at 11-0. These two were joined by six others to comprise the Wildcat state entry; all of who competed well. At the end of the six preliminary rounds, all four teams were in the hunt. Skylar Keaton and her partner, Mikalya Quinn, just missed out on advancing to double octo-finals on a tie-breaker criterion. However, the undefeated team of Carson and Curran (#1 seed), Isabelle Holtzen / Grayson Anderson (#8th seed), and Garrett Mills/ Lexi Shaner (#23rd seed) advanced into the round of 32. The Wildcats found success in this round as all three teams picked up wins to advance to the top 16 with Lexi and Garrett knocking off the 10th seed to do so. Unfortunately, the day ended here for Garrett and Lexi as they lost on a close 1-2 decision to finish as medalist for their efforts. The remaining two teams put a small run together as they won their octo-final and quarter-final rounds to find themselves late Saturday afternoon as two of the final four remaining teams. Here, Grayson and Isabelle put up a great effort, but fell in a close split decision to finish the tournament in third. Carson and Curran advanced to finals where they avenged their teammate’s loss to win the state championship. Coach Brian Weilert commented, “This tournament has becomes so massive over the past few years that navigating it with all the variables in play such as judging and matchups is a tough go. Kansas debate is so competitive that there are no easy rounds and with the exception of Carson, who has been debating for three years, the rest of the team has had two or less years of debate under their belts. To have this group do as well as they did made me very proud.” The team arrived home at 1am Sunday morning exhausted, but satisfied with their great effort and success.
Congratulations, to our state placers and the entire Louisburg High School Debate Team!