Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Public-forum debate duo has great finish 

 

Courtesy photo

Maggie Fischer

Keeping calm under pressure, was one of the tactics a Green River High School Speech and Debate duo used during the national competition.

JD Richardson and Maggie Fischer, might have had different goals for the tournament, but they remained calm and progressed as far as they could.

For Fischer, her goal was already met before she even arrived in Dallas for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.

"My personal goal was to make it to nationals so I was pretty content with how it would have gone," Fischer explained.

Richardson, who had already been to nationals two times before in Congress, had a different goal.

Richardson wanted to do the best in public forum debate than any other Green River team had. Both Fischer and Richardson were happy to say they accomplished their goals.

"Maggie and JD are one of the best public-forum debate teams we have ever had," Stulken said. "This talented team proved that they were a force to be reckoned with placing in the top 24 teams in the nation and making to through to the first two elimination rounds at nationals."

"This was JD's third trip to nationals and his first time competing at nationals in public-forum debate," head coach Carina Stulken said. "His experience at nationals as well as their excellence as a team helped them excel as they beat out over 450 other debate teams from across the country."

In public-forum debate, two teams of two compete against each other for a chance to advance. 

Although the topics for these debates are released a month in advance, the teams do not know which side of the issue they will be arguing for. It literally comes down to a coin toss; and whichever team wins that toss gets to select which side of the debate they want to be on.

Even before starting the competition, this duo remained focused.

"I kind of felt at peace," Richardson said.

"I didn't get nervous. It was just felt like a regular tournament," Fischer said.

After 17 rounds, the duo continued to advance, but when they finally lost they were not disappointed.

"It was probably everything I expected it to be and more," Fischer said. "To go on a trip for a week with friends was neat and to compete and do well at the same time was even cooler."

"We really wanted to do one more tournament for debate," Richardson said. "There's not much more we would ask for."

Although the team was calm while competing, there was one thing that through them off - the arrival of Tropical Storm Bill. 

"We had to walk to the other side of downtown and we actually got caught in Tropical Storm Bill," Richardson said.

"We actually stopped at a 7-eleven and bought an umbrella," Fischer said.

Despite the storm outside, the duo remained focused during the competition and were happy to end their high school speech and debate careers on a positive note.

Richardson will go to the University of Wyoming where he plans to major in political science and eventually become an attorney.

Courtesy Photo

JD Richardson

Richardson's career choices were directly impacted by his speech and debate career. He said regardless of what profession he decides to pursue, a person will most likely have to talk in public and thanks to his time on the speech and debate team he is prepared to do just that.

Fischer will go to Westminster College in the fall and she plans to major in finance and minor in political science.

As for a future speech and debate career, both Richardson and Fischer are ready to end it.

"I think this is it for me," Richardson said. "It doesn't get any easier in college. You're gone a lot."

"It's OK to miss a Friday a week in high school, but in college it will be an even bigger commitment," Fischer said.

 

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