Although the Prosper Debate Team has only been in existence for four short years, they have built a reputation as a top performing group. The team members compete nearly every weekend and practice most days after school.
There are more than ten different events that the team competes in each weekend. The Lincoln-Douglas Debate is comprised of solo competitions while the Cross-Examination Debate event consists of pairs. There are three main debate circuits in speech and debate: The University Interscholastic League (UIL), Texas Forensic Association (TFA), and National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). UIL and TFA are entirely based in Texas, and the NSDA is the overarching national debate circuit. Beyond these three, the Tournament of Champions (TOC) is another prestigious competition on the national level.
“Education-wise it prepares the kids for college like no other program can,” said Kristy Antonakakis, mother and board for boosters member. “It is an AP credited course and includes aspects of English, Writing, and Research. There is so much writing involved that students who take debate their senior year don’t have to take English.”
Students that qualified in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate include Sophomore Alec Antonakakis (NSDA, TFA, UIL) and Junior Emma Herring (TFA, UIL). The Cross-Examination Debate qualifiers were Senior Mark Werner (NSDA, TFA, UIL), Junior Bryan Derebery (NSDA, TFA, UIL), Junior Hunter Jordan (NSDA, TFA, UIL), Sophomore Zane Smith (TFA, UIL alternate), and Freshman Joy Yochem as a UIL alternate. Senior Zach Elmer qualified for both the Cross-Examination and Lincoln-Douglas events (NSDA, TFA, UIL). In addition, Senior Alex Howe qualified for NSDA for Student Congress and Senior Josie Loving for NSDA Dramatic Interpretation.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and literature,” said Sophomore Alec Antonakakis. “This seemed like a good extracurricular activity for me. Once you get into the activity itself and start practicing it really prepares you for college.”
Alec explained that he chooses to compete in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate because it focuses more on the philosophical and moral grounds behind an argument.
Each summer the Varsity debaters and coach hold a debate camp for middle schoolers. With a number of members graduating this year, they see this as a way to recruit new talent. The camp will be held this year from June 12th-16th.