Etched in Stone

Fossil hosts Forensics competition

Isabella Mahal

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Photo Credit: Isabella Mahal

Beginning at 8:15 am on Saturday, November 11, Fossil Ridge High School’s Argumentation and Debate class competed at Rumble at the Ridge, a forensics competition. Though none of Fossil’s twelve competitors made it to the semi-final round, all learned valuable skills to help them during in-class debates and in life. Other schools at the competition included Rocky Mountain High School, Resurrection Christian High School, and Silver Creek High School.

There are a variety of events that students can choose to compete in most speech and debate tournaments, but this one only included two. According to the National Speech and Debate Association, Congressional Debate is “a simulation of the U.S. legislative process [in which] students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate.” However, there weren’t any Fossil students competing in this event at this tournament, though they will learn how to in a few weeks in class.

As Jadyn Schelir, a junior, put it, Big Questions Debate is, “supposed to be based on religion, psychology, and physiology.” This competition’s topic was “are animals and humans fundamentally different?” Coming into the day, students knew the question, that they would have to argue the affirmative and the negative at some point, and that they would debate at least three other pairs in three different rounds. However, they didn’t know which side they would be on for each round. Because the event is meant to utilize, “more ethos and pathos than logos”, preparation involved less research than other debate events might. Schelir found that her notebook from her psychology class at Fossil helped with the most key parts of her argument.

Jaden Schelir wasn’t disappointed that her team didn’t move on to the finals. She explained that, “now that we’ve gone against more experienced debaters, I feel like it’ll be easier to go against other novices in class.” All students who take Mr. Campbell’s Forensics class have to participate in at least one public event, and can also choose to join Forensics as a club.

Hannah Hornberger, a freshman, wants to be a lawyer when she grows up. She loves the strategies she’s learned in class to improve her debating skills. She also competed in Big Questions Debate, and thinks that some of the most important skills in competition involve being “nonemotional, diplomatic, able to hear both sides of the story.” In addition, “you need to be able to know when you’re wrong, because you will be wrong.”

Good luck to the Sabercats, who will compete again next Saturday, November 18, at Greeley Central High School.

About the Writer
Isabella Mahal, Copy Editor
Isabella Mahal: journalist, academic beat leader, activist for what she believes in. Whether it’s defending women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, or freedom of speech, Mahal isn’t afraid to fight for what she finds just. She has been involved in journalism since her freshman year, but she didn’t know until a couple months into the class that...
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Fossil hosts Forensics competition