Cross Examination debaters strive for success in district meet

By Brianna Aguilar

Sophomores Danna Bader and Ariel Simien consult with one another about their opponent’s negative case after their first debate at the district meet on Jan. 31. This is the first year for College Station’s cross examination debate team to have the full amount of CX teams to compete in district.  Photo by Brianna Aguilar.

This was the first year. The first year for all the cross examination spots to be filled and for College Station High School to fight for success in CX. Each team brought something invaluable and different to this year’s debate team—wit, humor, passion, intensity. Yet, what made these unique teams unite even further and develop a love for the hard and demanding realm of CX was perseverance, perseverance to keep succeeding.

“We would see the CX kids walk by with their boxes and cases, in slow motion, and wind blowing in their hair, and know they are the cool kids, the elite kids. But now we get to leave with a laptop and our cases, we get to do that slow motion walk, and we’re the elite,” sophomore Ariel Simien said.

Due to the amount of work and effort it takes to prepare for this type of debate, the unknown for new incomers was exciting and intimidating.

“Before my first round I was very nervous because I didn’t know how well the other teams would be and even how well we would be against other teams. But once you get into it, you sort of forget all that and all you’re thinking about is your case and why it matters,” sophomore Danna Bader said.

Consequently, in order to feel prepared and ready for such a competition, cross examination requires effort, energy and time to do well and succeed.

“You don’t want to come across as someone who is completely unprepared,” senior Sebastian DeBeurs said. “Knowing all the issues and knowing your topic very well [is needed].”

However, each CX team has a different way of handling their preparations for such intense debates.

For junior Rohit Madhav and Sebastian DeBeurs, they began at the start of the year and met each Friday to prepare. For seniors Collin Littlefield and Mason Klemm, they relied on their natural speaking and arguing skills along with preparation.

“In total, we put in five or six hours before that first meet and after that, we realized we’re much better just going in there and improving and seeing what happened. We kind of took on that strategy. It worked,” Littlefield said.

Along with being prepared for such meets, another important factor is the ability to speak well and hold a confident demeanor for the debate and for the judge.

“You have to be logical, well-reasoned, and have evidence to support your arguments, but there’s always a subjective factor the judge is grading you on, such as how confident you are, the tone you are speaking in and the speed of delivery,” DeBeurs said.

Yet, the most important thing all the CX’ers agreed on was the necessity for having a good partner to work with through the successes and failures of CX debate.

“It’s easier if you have a good partner because if one of you is a really good speaker but the other one is really clever, then you’re good,” Littlefield said. “We both mess up, it’s not like either one of us are perfect, but we both bounce back pretty quick.”

With the intensity of CX, each team has learned the value of debating in such a high level of debate and can reflect back on an intense, successful and memorable year.

“It feels really good to be someone who is so well-respected in something like speech and debate,” Simien said.