• Annual Humanities dinner will be Feb. 23

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  • The summer job fair will be held Feb. 15 in the atrium

  • Jr. Hi. speakers win at So. St. Paul

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Debate stars

Post-season review of the varsity debate team

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Senior Grant Schlichting settles in at section debate

Senior Grant Schlichting settles in at section debate

Miranda Felton

Miranda Felton

Senior Grant Schlichting settles in at section debate

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After 48 years, AP Composition teacher, John Fogarty, made the executive decision to cease coaching debate in order to focus more on his family. This left the tiny team coachless and desperate for a solution. Little did the team of four know, a new coach was right in front of them the whole time, and half the team was even coming home to him every night. The two Schlichting brothers, and one half of the debate team, decided to ask none other than their father, Jack Schlichting, who has had no debate experience, to coach the team. Much to the surprise of the team, and the new coach, they had a fairly successful season.

Miranda Felton
Sophomore Ryan Schlichting plays to his audience

Originally, the team had four members and two sets of brothers: Nick and Alex Engebretson along with Ryan and Grant Schlichting. However, as the season progressed, they expanded their ranks and ended the season with nine participants. It goes without saying that the team had to do some recruiting this year. Captain, Grant Schlichting, states, “At the start of school, I didn’t think the team was going to exist. We weren’t going to be ready for the first topic and we didn’t have a coach.” However, once the debaters found a coach, they took their team to three tournaments with Emma Conway receiving third place for best speaker at one tournament, and the teams of Caden Bell and Xander Weinrich as well as Bell and Conway being awarded fourth place. While those three newbies had a successful season, the pinnacle of the debate season was when the Schlichting brothers competed at the section tournament.

“Before we competed, my former teammate Miranda Felton said to me, ‘you don’t have to make it to state to matter, you already matter.’ We fought as hard as we could but luck just wasn’t on our side.” Grant Schlichting reminisces about how he and his brother placed seventh, just one spot away from qualifying for the state tournament. John Fogarty comments, “For not having a formal coach, the team did phenomenal. The fact that they did so well really is a testament to their character.”

The Cannon Falls debate team has always been one to be feared at tournaments “Since they started having a state tournament for public forum debate about five years ago, we’ve made it every year,” remarks Fogarty. And though this season got off to a rocky start, it was no exception. Though the elder Schlichting sadly will not be around for the next round of debate, Ryan will carry on the legacy, and hopefully, the team.

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Debate stars