By Megan Smith | Assistant News Editor
Sophomore Elizabeth Martinez will be advancing to the UIL Regional Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament to represent District 9-5A. The UIL topic this year is “Influence of the media is detrimental to the American political process”.
“This type of topic calls for the Lincoln-Douglas type of debate because it places a heavy emphasis on logic, values and philosophy,” Elizabeth said. “Preparing for the debate was a really demanding process.”
Before participating in the debate, anyone competing must format their affirmative and negative cases and be ready to answer anything the opponent might ask or use in their case.
“It takes hours to research the topic and understand the many different approaches to the topic that your potential opponents might use,” Elizabeth said. “The evidence has to be credible and properly cited.”
After the Pre-UIL competition on March 17, Elizabeth and her teammates quickly began preparing for the UIL competition on March 27.
“By the time of the UIL competition, I had revised my cases a gazillion times and felt ready to compete,” Elizabeth said. “Entering my first round was a bit nerve-racking but after presenting my side of the topic, debating felt more natural to me.”
The three rounds before finals were each 40 minutes long with 10-minute breaks between.
“Everybody was waiting to hear the results of the preliminary tournaments to see who would go to finals,” Elizabeth said. “When the debate coach, Mrs. Sanders said that I had made it to finals, I felt surprised, overjoyed, excited and a tad bit nervous.”
Elizabeth waited for a few minutes for the panel of judges to arrive for finals, and as soon as both team members and coaches were present, the arguments began.
“It was quite a struggle trying to catch and refute everything my skilled opponent threw my way,” Elizabeth said, “but my determination helped me hold my ground, and I felt really prepared.”
Even though the judges had voted for Elizabeth’s opponent, she still competed in the alternate round to see if she’d place third and go to regionals.
“I could feel the effort I poured into my arguments show in the good results,” Elizabeth said. “By the end of the round, I felt accomplished and like I had done everything I could.”
After an intense 40 minutes of debate, the results came out with Elizabeth going to regionals, which will be held in Waco.
“Walking out of the tournament I was reminded of a promise that the team and I made to each other our freshman year to make it to nationals,” Elizabeth said. “Now we are one step closer.”