Debate Team Gets Bid to TOC


Burke B Cochran, Asst. Editor-In-Chief

The Tournament of Champions is the most exclusive and competitive high school debate tournament.


There are three national-level tournaments: the Tournament of Champions, hosted at the University of Kentucky; the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament, this year held in Texas; and the Catholic Circuit Nationals, this year held in Milwaukee.


The Tournament of Champions differs from the other two national tournaments in that it has a much more rigorous qualification process. While the other two have a single tournament that decides who will earn a spot, TOC qualifiers must have consistent records at several national circuit tournaments.


Generally, due to high costs of travel, North’s debate team doesn’t get many opportunities to compete on the national circuit. But with more fundraising and growing school support, North’s debate team has travelled more this year than any other.


Taking advantage of local opportunities, one team from North competed at the Glenbrooks Debate Tournament in Glenview, IL, early on in the school year. Then, the team made a trip to Arizona to compete at a debate tournament held at ASU. The team of Johnathon Giesecke (‘19) and Burke Cochran (‘19) broke to elimination rounds, but was eliminated by a team that made it to semifinals. They did not go far enough into the tournament to receive a gold bid.


Competing early in February, Giesecke and Cochran competed at a national circuit tournament in Evanston, IL and made it to finals. This gave them the first of two necessary gold bids to qualify for the TOC.


The last chance the team has to get the second gold bid is this month as they compete in Nebraska at another national circuit tournament.